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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gaining Perspective

According to the Free Online Dictionary, perspective can be defined in the following ways:
  • A view or vista
  • A mental view or outlook
  • The appearance of objects in depth as perceived by normal binocular vision
  • The relationship of aspects of a subject to each other and to a whole
  • Subjective evaluation of relative significance
  • The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance
And finally these two definitions:
  • a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance
  •  the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it
I share that with you, because I've been gaining a little perspective since returning home from our vacation back home in MS and AL.  The day after school was out for the Summer, we packed up and headed to MS and AL to visit with our extended families and for Mike to fulfill some preaching/singing engagements.  We knew when we left that we really needed some tires on our van; however, Mike said he had prayed about it and felt the Lord leading us to go and trust Him to provide for the tires through the engagements he had booked.  We had a smooth trip going up.  The kids traveled well and our three old who is just recently fully potty trained did not have the first accident!

We stopped off in Little Rock, MS first to visit with my brother and his family.  We had the best time with them!  On Monday we headed to my mom and step-dad's house in Meridian.  Mike was scheduled on Wednesday to be present at a downtown Bible book store to sing and offer his cd with customers as they came into the store.  On Tuesday he went downtown to visit with the owner of the store and to checkout his area to set up prior to his three hour engagement with them on Wednesday evening.

He had been gone from my mom's for a little over an hour, when he called me and said, "I need you to come pick me up."  To which I replied, "Why do I need to come get you?"  To which he replied, "The van died."  Immediately I just wanted to vomit!  I knew right away, this is something major.

And it was...the transmission was gone; our second one in two years I might add.  We replaced the transmission in our other vehicle a little over two years ago.  I wrote about it HERE.  Mike had the van towed to a repair shop owned by a previous church member who attends a church Mike had served at in Meridian and he recommended a transmission shop to do the repair.  The guy at the transmission shop told Mike he could have it repaired the following Tuesday and that no matter what the cost, our price for the repair would not be over $1500.  He understood our situation that we were trying to get back home to Florida.  So immediately Mike began rounding up $1500 cash.  By Tuesday he had exactly that much after a gracious loan from his mother and a few other sources.

When he went to pick our van up, he was told the repair was close to $1800.  So, again Mike rounded up the difference.  Mind you the $1500 was quoted to Mike on four different occasions, but we learned the hard way that somebody's "word" really doesn't mean much anymore.

I cried.  I spit, and I sputtered, "How unfair!"  I was sad, mad and ugly bitterness was creeping in.  I just did not understand why!  

I needed some perspective.

Just the other day I read this Facebook post by Randy Alcorn:
"Worry is the product of a mind that lacks perspective.  Such a mind needs to fill itself from the reservoir of God's Word, not the innumerable concerns that constantly vie for our attention."
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."  Psalm 46:10
You see, taking from the definitions of perspective given at the beginning of this post, I needed to understand this major setback in relationship to the Sovereign God of the Universe and I needed an accurate point of view and the ability to see it.

So thankful that as the old children's song says, "God's still working on me to make me what I need to be.
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars, the sun and earth and Jupiter and Mars.  How loving and patient he must be, 'cause he's still working on me."