Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Perspective Check: Take 2

The “check your perspective” reminder never felt more relevant than today.

I lost something that I was hoping for today.

(Don’t worry mom. This wasn’t anything life altering in case you’re concerned.)

It was just a little boost of hope that I had hoped would turn into something great. It didn’t. No big deal. Back to my point.

So when 2pm rolled around and I heard the beeping on my phone, I looked down to read: CHECK YOUR PERSPECTIVE. (A reminder that goes off every day at the same time.)

I’ve been thinking about perspective a lot lately. Job perspective. Friend perspective. Family perspective. Life perspective. Often, I get stuck in the trees in the middle of the forest. I worry too much about one tree (me) without looking to see how that one tree plays a role in the vastness of trees that surround it (the rest of the world).

I stop looking at the big picture. I focus on the minutia.

As I glanced down to my phone, I took a deep breath and reset my perspective.

1. I am so healthy.

Two years ago this week, I was on a liquid diet, on pain medication, nausea medicine and antibiotics. I had just had my colon removed. I had just learned I had cancerous tumor growing inside me that was caught “incidentally.” I was scared, emotionally exhausted, and oh, I had unbelievably stomach pain and my doctors didn’t know why.

This year—this year I’m so healthy.

2. I have a career beyond my wildest expectations.

Just when I start to feel stuck, a new opportunity opens right before me. I look back over the past ten years since I decided to leave home and chase my dreams and I’m overwhelmed by the people I’ve met and the doors that have been opened—from being Bob Costa’s personal chauffer to standing on the sidelines of a Sunday Night Football games. I’ve interviewed heads of nations and mass murderers and held little babies just moments before they died. I worked in newsrooms in the nation’s top markets. I’ve had beers with network executives. I’ve traveled the world. I’ve chased my dreams.

I’ve been so blessed.

3. I am loved. My life is full of friends and family. FULL.

And I am so thankful.

As I adjusted my perspective and listed all the amazing things in my life, I was reminded of the most important thing.

My life—this life—is not about me. It’s not about my health, my career, or even how much I’m loved.

I’ve been reading through Paul’s New Testament writings—about how he abandoned everything good in his life for the sake of the cross. He didn’t walk through life expecting blessings and throwing in the towel when he didn’t get it. No way. He suffered humiliation and excruciating pain for his convictions. His life was about being content and serving the Lord in any and every situation. Whether well-fed or hungry, healthy or sick, rich or poor, his life was not his own. His life was the Lord’s.

Just like Paul, this life is not my own. It’s not about me and it’s not about losing the things I hoped for. This life is about following Jesus every moment of every day. Giving up my hopes, my ambitions, my plans, my dreams and trusting that the story of the forest is much cooler than the story of the tree. (Thank you Donald Miller.)

Perspective: Reset.

Happy Thanksgiving.

(Just as a PS to this piece: I do want to say that I truly believe that the death of the things hoped for always means resurrection of those hopes in an even greater way. And that is hope I will hold onto until the end.)

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