Friday, November 2, 2012

Perspective

I'm gonna try something a little different here on this old blog.

It's November, as you well know.  That means it's the month of Thanksgiving.  And while I firmly believe that we should all notice our blessings and admit what we're thankful for year round, I think there's something sweet in people really reflecting on their lives at this time of year.  Pardon me for sounding like a clich√©, but one of my favorite things about the holidays is coming face-to-face with the multitude of blessings that surround me in all forms.

I spend too much of my time, especially on this blog, venting about all the ways in which this world frustrates me.  So for the next three weeks, I'm going to try to dedicate my writings here to just some of the many things I'm grateful for.  I mean, yesterday is already covered with music, so I might as well keep up the trend, right?   No, really, Luke 6:45 says "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." and I really am a happy person at heart, so my words should reflect that.

So today, what I'm thankful for is perspective.

The perspective I get when I see the response of some of my best friends after having something valuable stolen from them for the second time this year.  "Nothing good comes from ill-gotten goods.  I pity the folks that stole from us tonight because they clearly don't know that.  Here's the thing, though. God is still good, and we will not stumble over this tiny obstacle because He always provides what we need to keep going.  That fact is so exciting that even though it's 2:31 am and I gotta be up and riding by 8:00 am, I'm too jazzed to sleep.  Boom.  That's God."  My first reaction was anger and frustration, but his response was peace, hope, and faith that God will make up for it and take care of them.  Because He will, just like He'll take care of me.

The perspective I get when I watch Dateline and see an interview of 7 NYU nurses who saved the lives of NICU babies by carrying them and their plethora of equipment down 9 flights of stairs in absolute darkness during Hurricane Sandy.  They did so without panic, without fear, without causing harm or agitation to extremely fragile babies, protecting them at all costs and giving the families peace of mind that their little babies were safe.  With my medical history, I am and have always been extremely appreciative nurses, but watching that put me in tears instantly.  The job of a nurse is one of the hardest out there, in my opinion, and these women faced a real crisis with poise because they knew that lives quite literally depended on it.

The perspective I get when I hear about people across the nation donating to support victims of the disaster, when I hear of a blind woman who traveled to New York City to hand out supplies, when I hear about the cop who died saving his family in their flooding house.  In the heat of an intense, passion-filled, sometimes hateful, negative election season, it's a heartwarming reminder that this country is the greatest country in the world, and we ban together to take care of each other when it counts.

The perspective I get when that same Dateline that highlighted heroes from Hurricane Sandy interviews a group of soldiers who risked every one of their lives to save one of their own.  A soldier got hit with a rocket-propelled grenade that didn't detonate when it hit him.  He was a human time bomb, and the slightest mistake could have set off the bomb and killed anyone within 30 feet of him.  Protocol says in that situation, the man was supposed to be "set aside" so as to not risk harming the other members of his troop until they could figure out how to disarm the bomb.  But that meant he would almost certainly die, so instead of listening to protocol, the soldiers saved the guy's life, letting him return safe to his 6-months-pregnant wife and young daughter.  They stood face-to-face with a man on the verge of death, they knew full well that by attempting to save him they were risking their own lives, and they did it anyway.  It reminds me that while I am sitting in my cushy little dorm room in North Carolina, there are men and women on the other side of the world willing to die to protect my life.  Just writing that brings me an overwhelming sense of humility.  Even if I didn't have all of these medical problems, I don't think I'd be brave enough to join the military and put my life on the line like that.

So yeah.  Tonight I'm thankful for all the ways that God reminded me that all the petty stuff I thought mattered?  Well, it really doesn't make a difference in the end.  Love matters.

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