Keep Life in the Right Perspective
Every day I get the privilege of meeting new people with my job. The other day I met a WW2 veteran. It took him awhile to come to the door since his knees were weak, him being 93. He wasn’t very interested in what I was selling, which if I were his age I probably wouldn’t be looking for faster internet or more movie channels either. He was however interested in discussing how much the world and the surrounding properties have changed since his youth. To say the least, it was a fascinating 20 minutes of conversation that he and I shared.
Unfortunately the Meals on Wheels truck arrived, causing my new found friend to lose all interest in me and our conversation as his attention shifted to the man delivering his hot dinner. So I shook his hand, thanked him for the conversation and smiled as I went on my way. I smiled because to me, times like that are invaluable – mostly because of what I take away from a conversation like that.
The older gentleman who was about twice my age had experienced about twice as much as I have in life. Yet what I enjoyed the most in our conversation was his attitude. He had been shot 3 times in the war, tortured, and went through the incredible agony of watching both his friends be blown to smithereens. He fought off cancer twice and won, watched his wife die and was now selling his trailer and any bigger possessions he owned so that he could simplify his life a little – in his 800 square foot one bedroom home. Yes, he was happy. He was thankful for all he had and really happy.
To be in your 90’s and be able to look back over your life with a thankful heart and a positive attitude says a lot to me. That’s the kind of person I want to be when I grow up.
I want to look at life that way, no matter how much it beats me up. No matter how many ups and downs I face and not let all the issues get the best parts of me (like faith, hope, joy, your smile and what makes you, you). That's what I call being able to keep life in the right perspective. Yes, that takes a lot of conscious effort, a lot of forgiveness, and even a lot of deep breaths.
I do think that life is a serious matter, but I’ve also come to realize you can’t take it too seriously. When I lived in West Texas there was a saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 30 minutes and it will change.” After 10 years there, that statement proved true time and time again. But I think that saying describes life pretty good too.
Like bad weather, when our situation becomes huge and overwhelming we get consumed with the problem. Even to the point it affects our joy, our attitude and our outlook in life. I’m no professional, but I have found that if you can keep your attitude right and your faith set on a better day, the situation will change just like the Texas weather. Every time. Sometimes victory comes by simply outlasting the storm.
As Bette Midler once sang, “You’ve got to laugh a little, cry a little, until the clouds roll back a little.”
Isaiah 61:7 "Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever."