1. a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance
2. the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity
I desperately desire to be a person of perspective; that is, a person that can assess facts, view those facts from an accurate frame of reference and mentally arrange them according to their importance. Thankfully, our move has brought about what I hope to be great growth in perspective for me.
You see... I can either look at the lack of hot water here as my worst nightmare and fret over the uncleanliness of our dishes, clothes and bodies... or I can instead look at the presence of cold water as a blessing in a place where there is intense heat and few opportunities for A/C. So, the choice is mine to make. Can I set aside my ideas of what 'works' and embrace something that functions quite well, but doesn't 'feel' quite as good to me?
Another example. Today, we awoke to find that the electricity would be completely down from 8am to at least 4pm for repairs. This is common in La Ceiba and meant that the fans that cool us would not be working today. Aside, it will be worse in Puerto Lempira where the electricity goes off for 4-5 hours each morning.
Today is a sweltering hot day, with no forecast of rain. We had a choice this morning. We could freak out, hop in a cab and search incessantly for generator-driven A/C or fans. Or, we could go on about our day like every Honduran does and consider ourselves warned and prepared for our future life in Puerto Lempira.
After a bit of complaining from the eldest members of our family, we decided to walk down the street to church. We could hear children singing before we stepped out of our gate. And we all began to smile as we walked up the cobblestone road to our temporary church. (I have so much more to tell you about this church, but I need more battery power :)) Worship was beginning as usual, right on time. But for a few paper fans waving in the congregation, you wouldn't even have known that anything was different. And the church usually has strong AC! Today, the children put on a special service... reading scripture (the entire first chapter of Jonah) and one young man of 11 or 12 preached on the verses. The children did all of the music... in the heat!
I was tempted to imagine how our church in the States might have handled a loss of electricity on a Sunday morning, but decided to abandon that effort in an attempt to be fully aware of what was going on around me. Plus, I need the brainpower to understand anything in the Spanish service.
So, back to perspective. I need to let you know that it is not always easy for me to choose the accurate view. Much more often, I'd rather complain about not being able to throw toilet paper in the toilet and having sugar ants in all parts of my life. I'd rather bemoan the fact that I never smell nice and my sweat glands are working overtime. And yet, I look at those around me, experiencing these same things and I see happiness and contentment... and I see God's pleasure in these people. And, once again, I'm reminded that this season is as much about honing God's perspective in me as it is about anything else.
12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.