Things almost never go how you want them to. Please do not read this blog and think I am complaining about anything. I know how blessed we are and I know that we have more than most people in the world. I am just making a general observation based on what tends to happen in our lives by using a personal example of what has been happening in our lives over the past few weeks. So here it is…
I will start by saying that our main goal during our time at home has been to try to rest and get ready for the next 4 months in Haiti (March – June). While we are in Haiti, it is difficult to rest and we generally work at least 6 days a week and stay real busy. On top of that, we have 3 teams coming down 3 weeks in a row starting on March 14 and it is going to just be a real busy time. All of that to say, we were trying to come home and rest and get ready for what was ahead.
While we were in Haiti, we found out that we needed to update our home study for our adoption, so we needed to come home earlier and get ready for that. We recently sold one of the cars we owned and paid off the other car so we have not had a car payment the last few months. Of course, now that we very rarely drive our car, we had to put 4 new tires on it, the battery went dead, and I am sitting in a shop right now getting our alternator replaced. As soon as I got home, I had to find a dentist who would do a root canal/crown for me (Thank you Dr. Vollenweider in LaGrange). We have also been visiting friends and family and helping some friends of ours with something they are going through. All the while we have been getting ready to be in Haiti for the next 4 months and running errands and preparing to make sure we are ready for that and making sure we are ready for our annual silent auction fundraiser coming up on March 7 (if you are interested in attending this, please let me know).
Again, I don’t want to sound like I am complaining about any of this, it is just an observation. What I do want to say is that many times things do not work out the way that we want or think they will. There are often things that happen that change our plans and there is very rarely anything we can do about it. All we can do is control how we react to things that happen. We can get upset, stressed out, and feel like the whole world is in some kind of conspiracy against us. Or, we can take everything in stride with the understanding that we have GOD. We can allow circumstances to affect our mood and how we treat other people, or we can worship GOD even when things change.
If I am being honest, I have to say that I do not always handle changes well. For instance, last night when the battery went dead and then the red battery light came back on (which I immediately knew was the alternator), I was not overly pleasant to be around. I might have had one of those “the whole world must be against me” episodes that we are prone to from time to time. And over an alternator? It is kind of the adult equivalent of a child throwing a temper tantrum when someone else eats your cookie. But how difficult is it to have perspective? I was thinking that I just came back from a country and a group of friends who have never even seen the inside of a car dealership, who do not have access to consistent dental care, and who would have no context of understanding what a fundraiser even is. And here I am, someone who should have at least a little perspective, getting upset because I have to replace a battery and alternator in my car.
So, we wanted to rest while we were here, and we will still get to rest over the next week or so while we are in the states even if we will not get to as much as we had hoped. But here is something that I am beginning to learn, and it is a hard lesson for me…I need to not let circumstances affect me quite as much as they do. I need to learn what it means to gain perspective on my life. Here is my true perspective:
- I have been forgiven and saved from my sin.
- The GOD of the universe loves me and has adopted me as His Son.
- GOD has blessed me with a wonderful wife.
- He is blessing All Things New like crazy.
- I have a wonderful family.
- One day, no matter what else happens, I will get to be in the presence of GOD for eternity.
Maybe one day I will be able to live with this type of perspective. Maybe I one day a bad alternator and a bad tooth will not affect me quite as negatively as it can now. Maybe one day I will be able to live in light of what GOD has done for me rather than allow the circumstances surrounding my life to change me. But I am just not always good at that right now. So here is my challenge today (and maybe your challenge as well).
Let’s live our lives like the GOD of the universe is in control.
When we wake up, let’s not think about how difficult the challenges we are facing are because I promise there are other people going through much worse. Let’s not think about how we can plan our days based on what we want to do because plans have a tendency to change. But let’s live with the perspective that the GOD of the universe is truly in control of everything.
I have been listening to a song the last few days by Hillsong, and the words of the chorus give us a good perspective of our lives, and I will close by copying and pasting those words to the bottom of this post:
Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed