Life in Perspective

What a week!

Among many other ups and downs that have been keeping my life rather full of late, this week has provided me with two very powerful reminders to keep life in perspective.  And, I must say, keeping life in perspective is a very good thing.  It tends to keep one calmer, more appreciative, more patient, and more purposeful.  More on that in a moment.  First, the perspective-checks from this week:

On Monday I started taking some medicine that had the potential to raise my blood pressure, which is already just a bit above normal.  As such, my doctor advised me to check my pressure regularly to make sure it was OK.  No big deal, Doc – will do.  Over the next two days, I proceeded to do just that, using a borrowed digital home blood pressure cuff.  To put it mildly, the numbers I saw probably raised my bp considerably.  (180/165 anyone?)  I felt like a guy who had been strapped with explosives and sent to go about his daily life, not knowing how itchy the trigger-finger might be of whoever was holding it.  After two days of this, I called my doctor’s office, came in for a bp check, and found out that it was fine – at the same level as when I started on Monday.  Whew!!!  Don’t know if it was human or mechanical error, but me and my new pb monitor seem to be working accurately together now.

Thinking you could have a massive coronary any moment tends to put life into perspective.  At least, it did for me.  As I was driving to the doctor’s office after that highest bp reading, I spent the time in prayer and remarkably calm reflection.  I felt a solid security in knowing God was, is, and always will be with me – loving me, caring for me, blessing me, and guiding me.  This faith moment for me was profound, as it wasn’t just some abstract theoretical notion that there is a God or a simple recitation of the basic principles of Christianity.  It was a deep reassurance that my faith is in the Almighty God, the Sustainer of Life, and the Father Who Loves to Give Good Gifts to His Children.  I was also deeply mindful of my family – my wife, my son, my parents and in-laws and siblings, and my extended family and dear friends.  Grateful of the many ways I have been blessed by all of them, I asked God to bless and care for them all, and to give me more time with them, guiding me to use that time as well as possible.  In particular, I realized how much I savor times together with my wife, and how much my son needs me there to guide him and show him and encourage him to grow to become a strong man of God.

Which brings us to Friday’s second big life perspective check – the much anticipated birth of the twin boys of some very dear friends.  Having prayed for this couple through several years of hope and heartache and disappointment, and through the last eight months of the development of the twins, the day had arrived!  I stood in the midst of a larger-than-fire-code-capacity crowd of family, church, and friends with my wife and my son (who had emerged from this very spot three and half years ago to change my life forever) as we eagerly watched down the hallway, waiting for our first glance at mother and babies.  All three looked wonderful as father and grandmother proudly escorted them to pose before the awaiting masses.  Births have a special way of bringing life into perspective, making us appreciate the miracle and wonder of life.  And the arrival of these two special deliveries certainly had that effect upon me.  I looked at them, so tiny and brand new.  I looked at my son, bounding around the room, seeking adventure to burn his limitless energy.  And I once again rememered that life is short, and I must live it well and on purpose.

My encouragement to you this week is simply this: Take some time to step back and put life in perspective.  Get out the photo album or the home video collection or the scrapbook, or just sit and reflect on where you have been, where you are, where you are going, and who is with you on this journey of life.  Ask yourself what really matters.  Honestly consider how you are prioritizing your days and weeks.  Remember the foundations of your faith.  Allow yourself to be moved by gratitude as you face your life with meaning and purpose.  And do what you can to hold moments like this close at hand.  I know I am calmer and more patient when I keep in mind what really matters.  And, it seems the calmer and more patient I am, the better I seem to live. 

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