Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

I have run into this word "perspective" a lot in the past week or so.  More than just perspective, though, I've been thinking a lot about how a change in perspective can mean the difference between anger and peace, defiance and acceptance.

I have been having discussions with friends about this change in perspective, too.  They've told some interesting stories about how a change in their perspective completely changed their ability to carry out a task or carry a load.

One friend told me about a time when eight of her twelve children came down with the stomach flu at the same time.  She said that for hours someone was throwing up and she was swamped with loads of laundry.  At one point she found herself standing in front of her dryer, as she put it, having a "mental temper tantrum", essentially yelling at God for letting this happen.

At that moment, however, she had the grace to say to God that as much as she hated this, as much as it was messing up her agenda for that day and the next, if this was His will, then she would do it.  A change in perspective.  From that point on she was able to carry out all of her motherly duties without a problem.

She could have begged God to take away the illness and make everyone healthy so that she could continue on with what she had planned.  Instead, she changed the way she was looking at the situation and found peace in what was ahead of her.

Another friend was telling me about a much more serious situation in which their family had to make a very important decision.  They kept looking for a way to change the situation when a priest told my friend that maybe what they needed was a change in perspective.  Another priest recommended praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet novena (the one prayed beginning on Good Friday) and so they did.  During the nine days, my friend had a very big change in perspective about the situation that ended up changing the entire situation and, at least for now, eliminating the problem.

I've been thinking about that in my own life.  There are a few issues I've been struggling with lately that I have been praying to change.  Of course they haven't changed (yet) so I am wondering if praying for a change in perspective about these situations will alleviate the problem.  

I know that my first inclination is to pray to have the situation changed and not the way that I am looking at it.  If we could just change the way we look at things and begin to look at situations and people the way God wants us to look at them, would that not bring peace to our soul, even if the problem or person remained?

School is about to begin and I know that this year I definitely need a change in perspective about certain aspects of it.  I asked God to change the situation and He was quick to answer in the negative, so I'm pretty confident that if I can change the way I'm looking at these situations we will have a much more positive experience.  Well, that's a tall order so I better get to prayin' :)