A while back, my wife and I went to an Indiana Pacers game. We had received free tickets and jumped at the chance for a date night. We made our way downtown, got through security and headed to our seats – Our nose-bleed seats that were only a few rows from the back wall of the stadium!
We laughed because we were so far up with our backs almost against the outside wall. We discovered there is such a thing as Bad Free Basketball Tickets. But then, we realized we were in the wrong section. we should have been one section over. We made our way over to the correct seats and looked around at our glorious new surroundings. Now, we were 20 or 30 rows away from the back wall!
The most interesting part of this seat change was that we had not moved any closer to the game, we had a simple change of perspective. We had moved only sideways, yet our circumstances seemed very different. We felt like we had been given a HUGE upgrade. We sat back and basked in the glory of our luxury while we ate popcorn, drank Mountain Dew and enjoyed our time together.
Now some people might say, “But you were no closer!” This is very true, but it sure seemed like we were. It shows you the power that perspective plays in our thinking and our lives. At one time, maybe only 20 people were behind us, but when we moved 5 seats to the right, literally hundreds of people were. The point is, if we let our situation dictate our mood, our experience is likely to be ruined. Worse, we might think we need to “do something about it”; forcing our way into a better perceived situation and causing ourselves unneeded pain.
I have learned after much pain that, as Paul says in Ephesians, if I stay in the Spirit, I am much more positive about situations throughout the day. This should not be taken to mean that I am never moody or frustrated, because that certainly is not the case. What it means is that if I stay in the Spirit, I am less likely to get frustrated and, if I do, it’s short-lived.
Secondarily, in most situations, there are way more positives than negatives. I am generally a pretty positive person, but I have also trained myself to simply look for things to be thankful for in all situations. It’s pretty hard to grump about if you attempt to search out the good in everything. “Well, the car caught on fire spontaneously, but the Goodwill didn’t burn down, we get a tax break for the donation and only one of us had to be seen by the MedCheck!” “Oh, and the Doctor was a famous football player’s wife and the fries we got afterward were pretty good.”
Finally, when we compare the daily “light and momentary troubles” like traffic jams or rude people or Bad Free Basketball Tickets to the immensity of the eternal nature of the God that loves us, we get some real perspective. Comparing our situations to something so huge and unfathomable as the endless love of an almighty Father that promised ultimately that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him”, helps us get the right perspective.
My MedCheck treatment suggestion – Stay in the spirit and let Him sit in the seat next to you, telling you of God’s love and eternal nature and I guarantee you will enjoy the popcorn, Mountain Dew and your time together.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) – “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 5:18b-20 (NLT) – be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV) – 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) – 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.