A New Perspective
--Lori Durham, GIWTE #11
I had a tough time getting to work one morning this past month.
Some of my students had been overly rambunctious the day before, I hadn’t slept well the previous night, and to add insult to injury, as I walked out of the house, I saw my cat curled up sound asleep in our bed in perfect bliss. (I would much rather have crawled back into bed with him than head to school to face another day with rowdy teenagers.)
Things didn’t get much easier as I drove south to school. Traffic was heavier than usual on I-95, so I had to concentrate harder than normal on the road. I gripped the steering wheel with both hands, stared straight ahead, and didn’t take my eyes off the road as I tried to anticipate any obstacles in my path. Rain clouds hovered overhead, making my already tired and arthritic muscles throb in pain.
Usually I talk to God on the trip to school every day, but on this gloomy day, I was in a foul mood and not feeling particularly prayerful. I grumbled under my breath as cars and trucks cut me off or tailgated me, and instead of praying for my students, I repeatedly pleaded, “God, get through this day!”
I had driven about half way to work when the sky opened up and sheets of rain pummeled my car. “Good Grief!” I thought. “I can’t catch a break this morning!”
It didn’t take long to drive through the rain, but as I continued to look southward, my mood darkened just like the storm clouds above me until I happened to glance over my left shoulder to change lanes.
It was then that I saw the sunrise, orange and red, against the dark background of storm clouds and fading night. At that moment, I caught my breath and whispered, “Wow, God! Well done!”
If I had kept my eyes straight ahead on my path and not turned my head, I would only have seen the gloom of an approaching day and missed the stunning colors of the sunrise. By looking left, I created a new perspective for myself: one filled with divine beauty.
In Psalm 121:1-2, David reminds us to change our perspectives when we are weak, miserable, and fighting the storms of life. He tells us, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”
There aren’t many hills in South Georgia to look up to, but I sure can remember to look over my shoulder the next time I'm unable to see past my nose. In so doing, God will remind me He is with me even when I'm in a dark and grumpy mood.