It’s a Matter of Perspective

Read: “Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.“ Hebrews 12:1-2 (CSB)

Reflect: My mother’s life was unfair. My father left her with two young boys and a healthy mortgage a few years after I was born. The financial fallout forced her to work two jobs to keep us afloat. She wore old clothes and drove beat up cars to make ends meet. And if she ever treated herself to anything, we never saw it. Shortly after my brother and I left home she remarried and finally found some stability. It didn’t last though. She was diagnosed with ALS within a few years and passed away.

Like I said, unfair.

She taught me a lesson through her towering example of strength though. She never complained about anything. And I never heard her utter a bitter or petty word about anyone, especially my father, who she tried to include in everything. Just before she passed, she told me how much joy her life had brought her and how thankful she was to have been my mother. She told me how fortunate she felt that my wife and I would be there for my brother after she was gone. The contrast in how I saw her life and how she saw it, was jarring. Joyful, thankful, fortunate. Those words weren’t the words I would have chosen. But they are the words of Jesus.

The “unfair” narrative I assigned to her life was mine, not hers. All she saw was the life she had, the people that were in it and a million opportunities for grace and gratitude. She ran the race in front of her. It’s the only one any of us ever can. How we feel about it, is up to us.

React: What race are you running?

Pray: Father, grant me the courage and wisdom to live your narrative, not mine.