Monday, June 14, 2010

This is what I see:
Turns out, this is there, too.

Recently, I had what I thought was, A Bad Day.

I was behind on a work project. The babysitter was late, the kids were fussy, and the firm's network kept crashing. I couldn't concentrate, or find time to shower. Nothing horrible on it's own, but all together, enough to put me on edge. I was snappy, and I knew I needed to just take a moment . . . but, "I don't have time!" kept ringing in my ears, so I didn't. I got crabbier and crabbier. I acted like I was the most overworked woman on the planet. (Hand to forehead. Sigh.)

By the end of the day, the project was done, the kids were fed and in bed, and I was exhausted. Oh sure, I got a lot done, but when I reflected on the day, I wasn't proud of the way I'd handled myself. I yelled at the kids, I snapped at my husband - all because I was wound way too tight. If I had just taken a few minutes, to step outside of myself, and gain a little perspective, I'm convinced my day would have gone better. Next time, I want to do better.

As if to reinforce the point, the Lord sent different people my way over the next few days.

It started small. A friend called. A friend whose children never yell and cry when she is on the phone, and yet, there they were, yelling and crying. Fussing just because she was on the phone, and she had to call me back.

So it's not just me.

Another friend invited us over for an outside play date. The kids wanted to play inside, too, and she said, "Okay," without hesitation. Guess what? Her house was not spotless. There were toys in every room, there was laundry in the hallway, and the counters were cluttered. It was awesome.

I'm not the only one.

And then, just in case I wasn't paying attention, I ran into an acquaintance I hadn't seen in months. When I asked, "How have you been?" She said, "I'm getting a divorce."


I had no idea. I felt terrible for not knowing, but she wasn't mad. She talked about starting over, making new friends, and needing to sell her house. Her kids stood there listening to it all. I tried to assure her that I was still her friend, but I felt kind of lame saying it since I really don't know her that well to begin with. Still, I hoped I was encouraging her in some small way. I walked away feeling pretty dumb for thinking I had troubles.

And that's when all of the above hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. I opened my eyes a bit wider, and began to think about the need, the true suffering, going on in the much larger world. It stopped me in my tracks, and I realized that I needed to pray for forgiveness. Yes, my feelings of frustration during my Bad Day were real at the time. But with the benefit of perspective, I saw that my attitude made the entire situation worse. If only I had taken that moment I knew that I needed, maybe I would have seen it sooner: This really isn't all that bad.

I'm encouraged when I realize that God is so much more patient with me than I am with myself, and that the gift of perspective is always there. You've just got to take the time to look.

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4 Responses to “Perspective”

  1. Thank you for this. So true, so true for me too. We all need to stop and ask for forgiveness several times a day! And stop and thank Him for so much too - that He does forgive first and foremost! Thank YOU for this well-written reminder.

  2. Court- this was a great read since you can probably tell from our blog we have had a rough week here too (maybe it's the heat). I find everytime I get worked up I vow to do a better job and keep my cool the next time (and it works for awhile) but maybe these days are sent to us every now again to make us take stock of what we really have instead of focusing on what's wrong. Glad to hear everything is back on the up and up!

  3. Girl - I just commented on your blog! Great timing. I'm hoping this week is better for you. . . I think it IS the heat!!

  4. I should probably bookmark this post so I can come back and read it every month (ha! week!) when I need to. Thanks for putting things into perspective when I can't.