I’ve had, like most everyone, less than ideal moments that elicit gratefulness later in life. I call them “those beautifully horrible moments in life.” I faced childhood challenges largely alone, moved out of my mother’s home when I was 14, moved away from friends time and time again growing up, lived with tremendous anger and misguided theology for years as a teenager and young adult. I see this pain and disappointment as the back of a tapestry over thirty years in the making.
I’ve also had some beautifully horrible moments. Watching my daughter die shortly after she was born was one. But the spiritual lessons have been invaluable. Watching my wife suffer through subsequent miscarriages was horrible. But we are who we are as a result.
My past is in perspective and seen within the context of Providence.
What I find ironic is how perverse my perception of the present is. After all I have been through and all my wife and I have been through, you’d think we’d have great perspective on the here and now. I struggle, though, with the present far more than I do with the past. I am grateful I don’t allow my past to be an anchor like so many I see around me but how many of us make the present an anchor instead? Or fear of the future?
I’ve had a combination of illness, injury, job changes, financial challenges, normal family stresses, and the reality that I’m somewhat over-committed all weighing on me the last few months. During this time I’ve been very unhappy. I read the last two sentences and compare them to the previous paragraphs in this post and I laugh. If God is big enough to sustain me growing up, guide my wife and I through the fire of death and loss, and provide for us whenever we’ve been in need, why in the world would I let the present rob me of joy regardless of circumstance?
I will live with perspective today. Those beautifully horrible moments in life should be experienced with openness and honesty. When it’s over, don’t forget to celebrate the Grace that carried you through.