I had dinner with a friend last night. Part of our conversation centered around the current season of our lives. As we both wondered out loud about what it really is that God is doing in each of our respective lives, I couldn’t help but think about the gift of perspective that is given over time.
I’d like to think it’s a pretty common occurrence to be in the middle of any given life situation or scenario and ponder, “what is THIS really about?”
Is this about my current job?
Am I here because of THIS opportunity?
Is this stop a destination or a bridge to what’s next?
Is this about developing and investing in new relationships?
These questions and more are often par for the course for thinking about life seasons.
As we talked through this, I asked my friend, “when has it EVER been about what you THOUGHT it was about?”
In other words, I can look back now over many seasons of my life and see quite plainly that the take-away from that season was nothing like what I thought it was while I was actually in the middle of it.
The other day, I was thinking through a particular situation I’m walking through along these lines and tweeted the following thought:
There is invaluable perspective just over our shoulder that we often miss when consumed with what stands before us.
Perspective is highly underrated and without it, we are destined to wander in the proverbial wilderness for lack of grasping the wisdom locked inside life experiences. Many times I didn’t fully realize what God was doing in my life until I was on the other side of it and could look back from where I stood after the fact.
A great example is the current season of life I’m in now. I think a lot about what things were like a year ago. Things were hard and I often felt like I was spiraling out of control, unsure what was happening, my heart in vertigo. I often pondered what it was all about, but couldn’t see clearly at the time. A year later, I still have a healthy set of challenges and opportunities to learn, grow and develop, but they are quite different from those I had this time last year. Having walked through what I did, I can look back, extract the perspective and wisdom that wasn’t available to me from where I was, and stand on top of those things to face what is now before me. A year from now, I hope to be able to do the same with the things that I’m challenged with right now.
After you begin to intentionally process your life’s experiences that way, it tends to shape how you approach and react to what’s happening right now. It tends to be less about what’s happening right now and more about reading God’s resume of bringing clarity out of tumultuous seasons… in time.
A big part of being a person of faith is understanding God works in both the broad strokes of a lifetime and the exactness of each moment, but you don’t always realize that when pressed up against the canvas.
Very rarely is it ever about what you think it’s about.
What perspective can you extract from where you’ve been that helps bring wisdom to where you are?