This hasn’t been my favorite week.
I’ve gone through an awful lot of tissue. My heart has been heavy. Personal setbacks and disappointments have abounded, as well as heartache on a much larger scale. On top of that, I’ve been feeling pretty cruddy physically.
Sounds like a great recipe for a pity party, doesn’t it?
I started to go there. Then my friend Gen came over. She noticed a DVD on my dresser for the documentary, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. Nefarious is an amazing and hard-hitting documentary on the global sex trafficking industry–which is modern-day slavery. (To purchase the DVD, or to learn more about human trafficking and what you can do to make a difference click here.)
I’d seen the movie before, but Gen hadn’t, so we watched it together. Since both of us have done ministry in the red-light districts of SE Asia, this is a subject that hits close to home. About mid-way through the video, with tears streaming down her face, Gen blurted out, “And people think they have problems!”
Yeah, we do. And the truth is we all do have problems. But when you allow your eyes to be opened to the injustices unleashed by the ridiculous amount of unhindered depravity and evil rampant in our world (and not just in the area of trafficking), our little problems really do begin to seem … well … little.
Of course God still cares about the things that trouble us. In fact, one of the amazing things about his outrageously compassionate nature is that he cares–deeply and immensely–even about our “little” problems. I know he saved every tear I cried this past week. He held my heart especially close to his own. He didn’t condemn me, he didn’t shame me, and he certainly didn’t reject me. He just loved me–right where I was.
But I’ve experienced way too much of his love to want to hang out with a “lower” perspective for even one second longer than necessary.
This isn’t dress rehearsal, folks. We only get one go-round at this thing called life. I want mine to count. I want to release as much of God’s goodness and love as I can into this sin-sick world because that is what overcomes evil. Sometimes that means I can’t afford the luxury of engaging in self-pity. Sometimes that means I need to get over myself a lot sooner than I’d really like to. Sometimes that means I need to put on my big-girl panties and just plain suck it up.
(Yeah, I said “Suck it up.” Not very refined, I know. But God still likes me.)
I didn’t accomplish that perfectly this week. Not by a long shot. My heart is still heavy. My body is still achy. I haven’t exactly been a bundle of joy and energy. But that’s okay …
Because I also haven’t backed down.
And I won’t–not now, not ever.
Some days are hard. Some weeks are hard. Sometimes life is hard. But let’s get real, when we have the right perspective...
It’s not that hard.
So thanks to a little perspective check, I’ve decided I’m going to stop whining and be thankful for all I have and for all that’s going right. I’m going to make a difference wherever I can make a difference–right here, right now. And I’m going to love as well as I know how to love–right here, right now.
It won’t be perfect. I’ll still mess up. I won’t make everyone happy. I’ll still take myself too seriously at times. I’ll still worry too much about me and my little world. I’ll still have bad days, and I’ll still go through my share of very real heartache and disappointment.
But I will also fight–with all my might–to maintain a right perspective. Because when I have the right perspective, I also have something else …
And a grateful heart has something worth giving to a hurting and broken world.
What about you? Do you need a little perspective check today?