Just found this e-newsletter from a friend and mentor very encouraging. We just spent about three weeks with our floor torn up looking for a leaky water pipe. Yes it was an “inconvenience,” but after reading this commentary I see things a little different now. Like Harold says, “it’s all about perspective.”
A MESSAGE FROM HAROLD SALA
A bad day, said someone, is when you learn that your insurance policy covers falling off the roof but not landing on the ground. Have you ever observed, however, that how people respond when they hit the ground has more to do with how they view life than where their bruises are when they connect with terra firma?
Take, for example, a conversation I had with Jerry Poe, a plumbing contractor friend of mine. Jerry was called to locate a leaking pipe beneath a concrete slab in an apartment building. It seemed that when they got one leak fixed, another sprouted. First, the leak was in the bedroom floor. Then it was in the little kitchen, then the living room. Then the leak sprouted in another bedroom. Every time the leak started furniture had to be pushed back, and water vacuumed up. Of course, there was inconvenience and damage.
Speaking to the manager of the apartment complex, Jerry commented about the gracious attitude of the woman living there, who didn’t seem to be greatly upset by the inconvenience. The manager replied, “Having survived interment in a German concentration camp, I’m sure that she considers this only to be a “minor inconvenience.”
Leaks in a concrete floor are—yes, “a minor inconvenience” compared to enduring life in a concentration camp, wondering whether or not you would live to see the light of another day.
Question: Are you confronted with a “minor inconvenience” or a major disaster? The key to surviving triumphantly is perspective, learning to assess how much stress something is really worth in relationship to the damage it does to your emotional well being. When I was a boy, there was a shoe repair shop on Pearl Street that I would occasionally visit coming to or from school. The cobbler there had posted a sign that I will never forget that said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff; it’s all small stuff.”
For a few moments, friend, make a list of what is creating stress in your life. Then ask yourself, “How many of these items caught God by surprise? How many of them are beyond His control? And how many of them are really death threatening?”
If it is true that no difficulty happens apart from what a sovereign God has allowed, and that the Shepherd of your soul has promised to walk with you through the dark valley as well as over the mountain pass, why should you be upset by a “minor inconvenience” that you think is a major disaster? It’s good news, friend, to realize that when you are God’s child the worst you will ever have it is now—in this life.
Forget the insurance policy that covers falling off the roof. Better to land on your feet with bruised feet and think of it as a “minor inconvenience.” Don’t forget. He reigns!