To truly move forward in your Christian discipline it is crucial to constantly weigh your experiences with perspective.
What I mean by that is everyone has at one time, or eventually will, experience situations in their life that will be challenging. Ironically it’s overcoming those challenges with a balanced perspective that is part of what makes humans distinctive in the universe.
I had a potentially challenging situation today that allowed for me the opportunity to choose my perspective, to challenge me to grow in my faith, stay stagnate or to go backwards.
Of course in order for the Lord to truly be able to make any headway in your life, He has to challenge you in areas that you have found difficult to defeat in the past.
One of my many Achilles’ heels, (though technically you shouldn’t have more than two “heels” unless you are multi-footed, which means you have a much bigger problem then some measly old temptation)
Mine is air travel. Let’s see, I HATE airports, airplanes, packaged peanuts, seatbelt usage technical support, crash advice, turbulence, TSA, shoe removal, and the myriad of other procedures one must go through in order to get on a flight that often times as not is going to leave late if at all.
Today the pilot informed us that the computer needed to be reset before take off so hopefully it will only take a few minutes. Translated in airplane speak, “ you are going to be very late and most likely miss your connection.”
He also mentioned without shame that the computer would need to be reset by a maintenance technician. Ok, how secure should one feel about a pilot that can fly you 3,5000 feet in the air and land without crashing, but has a hard time turning his computer on?
They always use hopeful language like; the technician is on his way; really, from where? I mean, at the start of a marathon, everyone is “on their way to the finish” the fact that that is 6 hrs from now does make a difference though dontcha think?
The irony was I was just telling my wife on the way to the airport how I have learned to be calm and content no matter what I go through traveling since it goes south so often that I choose to have a positive attitude and not let it affect my countenance. Which is essentially challenging God to not laugh and almost guarantee for yourself another “teachable moment” in your life.
But here is where the perspective came in. I was literally in the last seat. While seated I saw up in the exit row my friend John Renken (“The fighting preacher” who teaches combatives to the 101st airborne, is a former MMA fighter and brown belt in jiu jitzu and a Pastor. THAT’S the kind of believers I hang with!)
Anyway, I went up to talk to him while waiting for the “speedy” technician to arrive. While there I noticed the seat I was in was unoccupied. Being a frequent flier I new my connection would be tight and so I moved up to this seat so when we landed I could get off the plane much sooner so I could begin my “run through the airport like an idiot to make my connection that I will probably miss through no fault of my own but the airlines don’t give a crap and will not hold my connection, guy” that I have been many times in my travels.
When we arrived I did get out sooner, grabbed my bags and started running as fast as I could and believe it or not made it to the gate and boarded 1 minute before they shut the gate. I was on my flight, but angry with what I was put through for the umpteenth time with no apologies from the airline.
Then, I began to meditate on what did go right.
1) My friend was on the flight, which is the only reason I moved up in the first place.
2) He was on an exit row, and the seat next to him was unoccupied, which was one of only 2 empty seats on the entire flight.
3) Though I had to run through the airport looking like an idiot while others pointed and mocked (at least in my head that’s what they do) I realized that I am physically able to run a half a mile, while pulling luggage, and not have a heart attack. If I was out of shape, or had a bum knee, or was just a typical American, I couldn’t have made the trek.
In other words I looked at my inconveniences and coincidences as obstacles overcome, and God providing opportunities to see Him at work in my life every day in every inch of my journey, including the often time overlooked minutia.
Thanks for you providence and provisions Father. Thanks that you never stop trying to make a man out of your flawed vessel, me, that you are proud to call your son.