As the school year draws near a close, I have noticed this utter disdain for homework, school projects, or anything of the sort. My kids seem to drag out of bed on a daily basis. They feel their personal rights are being violated since they cannot sleep in.
But it’s not just them.
This negative, pessimistic attitude has somehow pervaded our home. I’m not saying we are total grippy pants. However, we have become a little bit less grateful since our inhaling of Turkey dinner has long since passed. We’ve become more critical. Our friend cynicism is lingering about. And the complaining has become more prevalent.
I’ve noticed it in myself as well. I may not say it out loud but in my head, I am complaining. The Sunday sermon could have been better. The bills are stacking up too high. The kids are driving me crazy. Why isn’t anything going just right?
We are a society that tends to look at life as a cup half-empty. Why else are our history books filled with pages depicting wars, bloody battles, political debates, and so much more. Unfortunately, our eyes focus on everything that is wrong in the world, failing to notice all the good.
Good abounds around us if we simply open our eyes.
I remember when we first brought our son home from his orphanage in Haiti. At the time, he had very little exposure to the outside world beyond the walls of his little abode. He looked at white cement walls with a barbwire coiled fence on a daily basis. He played in an open-air facility or outside in the dirt. His view was the same each and every day. There was very little to explore.
Upon arriving in the U.S., he would look at us with those gorgeous chocolate eyes and say, “Ale machine” in Creole, while pointing his finger at my dusty white SUV. I would load him up and drive around town while his eyes were in complete bewilderment. He would giggle with excitement when a motorcycle sped by. And stare at the trees and the flowers. Everything was new and beautiful. He stood in breathtaking awe at the vastness of it.
You could tell he could barely take it all in. Oh, all the joyous wonders.
And I wonder what has happened to me. Why do I fail to see the hand of God all around me? He moves the earth in perfect orbit around the sun. He gives provision to the wren and the cardinal. It is He who puts breath in my lungs. God’s goodness is right here amongst me.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We will have trouble in this world. There is no doubt about it. But our outlook as believers is different…we can trust that there will be good come out of the bleakest of the situations (Romans 8:28). We can know that God is always up to something good.
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Changing our view matters. As believers, this place called earth is not our final destination. Eternity is our new gauge of time, putting everything in proper perspective.
Whatever we are presently experiencing is causing eternal glory to shine.
If our gaze is set on the here and now, our circumstances may knock us over like a tidal wave. We get overwhelmed. We become anxious and worried. We cannot see past our problems. Our minds are consumed with all the wrong things. We forget we are a child of the King. We lose sight of eternity.
Paul gently reminds us that our problems are light and momentary. And when we look beyond our circumstances by fixing our eyes on heaven, we see what really matters. We see our citizenship in heaven…and suddenly the pains of this world pale in comparison.
Lord, may we fix our eyes on you today. Amen.
Look around today. How is your viewpoint changed by thinking of eternity?