I love how a positive perspective on life's seeming annoyances can make such a big difference. Take the weather for instance. I have seen seemingly endless posts about the snow, rain, cold or lack of spring's arrival on facebook lately. It gives me pause as I realize that kids have this whole perspective in check much more often than their parents. When the parents are complaining about the rain, the kids are asking to go out and play in the puddles with their rain boots. Alternately, when the frustration mounts when the snow is still falling in mid April, the kiddies are enjoying yet another opportunity to play in the fresh powder.
I know, because I am speaking from experience. Personal experience. Last week we had snow fall for a day and Li Lin was so pumped for us to be able to go out and make castles in the snow with her shovel and pail. At first I thought, snow in April? But then I realized what a fantastic opportunity God was giving us to play in the white stuff. We likely won't see any again 'til December. What a gift.
The same thing happened towards the end of last week. It was cool and raining. While the adults were groaning, Li Lin was thrilled with the chance to put on her rainboots, and her raincoat, and go jump in the puddles. She loved it so much that she begged me for an umbrella! Then she started asking me when the rain was going to come next. She knows the rain is so fun!
It was a quiet but powerful rebuke to me. We, as adults complain far too often. In turn, we pass this on to our kids. How many adults would have a more positive outlook on rain or snow, if their parents had chosen to see the fun that could be had in humid weather. After all, who sends the weather? What right do we have to complain about it? I speak to myself first.
In the bigger picture, positive perspectives can make life's difficulties so much easier to bear. (I am in no way suggesting life-altering tragic stuff should be taken in a light-hearted way. True grief is not only okay, it is healthy) Here is an example of a good perspective I came across today: this afternoon a friend of mine mentioned in passing that she had spent 24 days hospitalized within the past six months. Wow. But what was even more shocking was what she said next, "I am really thankful that I was laid up in this way because God knew I needed to slow down."
I was blown away at her "big picture perspective" on things. Especially since she had picked up an unpleasant hospital acquired infection during one of her admissions. I hang my head in shame. I doubt I would have had that perspective had I walked in her shoes, or shall I say, lain on her hospital bed.
In closing, I leave with you a biblical verse that comes to mind when I think of perspectives. It is not just a good thing to do, it is actually a command. Phil 4:8 says: Finally, brothers and
sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything
is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
I know someone who takes this verse as their life's motto, and I have to honestly say, that this person is probably the most contented person I know. So, if you are feeling down by the endless winter, or some other little annoyance in your life, try a new perspective. Or better yet, try thankfulness!