The perspective lens

Well, I come to the end of a birthday that I wasn’t expecting to spend at home unwell. I had plans for today and tonight, but I’ve needed to stay home in my PJs, popping my panadol and even having my “old man” afternoon nap.

Yes I’ve had my little moments of grumbling, but it was good to catch my breath and see life again through the much needed perspective lens.

I was particularly struck by this as I sat with Megan and the kids tonight as we laughed at old family photos. The kids looked at me as if I am from a different planet when I told them I shared similar experiences with my parents, but our media platform was my Dad’s 1970s slick slide machine. “No” they don’t want to see a picture of one, as they go back to image viewing on Apple TV.

So while I will personally reminisce and celebrate the joy of slide nights, I am also thankful that tonight I can take the time to look again through the lens of perspective and be thankful for some of life’s simplest – but richest – gifts.

Tonight I can go to be thankful for:

  • A loved and cherished wife and family, in a world where many yearn for belonging
  • Hugs and head massages from kids, that are a priceless commodity.
  • An illness that will soon pass; while others struggle with serious illness on a daily basis, some with little support or understanding; while others live with mental health challenges and all too often the tragedy of societal stigmas.
  • Messages from friends, including old fashioned some snail-mail cards, in a country where loneliness and isolation are two of greatest social ills. Wow, simple words of encouragement are such fuel for the soul!
  • Good food, delivered by Mr Uber [even though the kids wanted to out for dinner, but their Dad wanted to stay in his PJs] – in a world where so many are hungry tonight and have none of the choices I have.
  • A roof over my head, when so many across our nation are homeless and the world has far too many displaced people; tragically many who have become seen as dangerous and unwanted, rather than fellow humans desperately in need of compassion and asylum.
  • Work colleagues who cheer me on [even today practically over the past few days with soup and birthday cake] and who I am privileged to serve with.
  • Younger, inspiring leaders I get to champion on a daily basis.
  • The opportunity to freely express my faith and opinions, when so many across the globe are denied these basic rights.
  • The expectation of soon being on annual leave and travelling, a first-world privilege that I so often take for granted.
  • A God who strengthens me with hope in all seasons of life and grants me the joy of serving others in Jesus name.
  • The opportunities tomorrow will bring – where so many across the world see no hope for the future and the privilege of as an ordinary human being to make a real difference in the lives of others.
  • And looking through the perspective lens this list of simple blessings could go on and on. It’s good to be reminded of this in the midst of life, particularly when our circumstances aren’t as we would choose. As my mum taught me as a child: “There are always people doing it tougher and harder.” Yes, thanks Mum for that enduring reminder, which always becomes clearer when we see life and others through the perspective lens.

[And yes, ever the optimist, I can go to bed tonight believing the Swans can fight back to make the finals again this season!]

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