Sunday, June 24, 2007

Perspective, Take II

I've already written about perspective, but I find myself being drawn back to this topic again and again. Today, it was Aaron's fault. He preached about perspective (listen to the sermon at, and I am once more obsessed with seeing God, viewing his master plan, with a tilted head.

I am such a type A personality. First-born, perfectionist, over-acheiver... I expect a lot from other people, but I expect even more from myself. Control freak? Ouch. But, yeah, maybe just a little. Anyway, I have a hard time getting it through my thick skull that I can't micromanage everything in my life. And I can't shake the feeling that the success (or failure) of my book rests with my ability to market myself, my willingness to go out there and "show 'em what I've got!" I can't escape the conviction that this is about me. My eyes are riveted on my own future, my own career, my own dreams.

And then today, Aaron preaches; I listen. Best of all, I have a moment of clarity. It's not about me! But I already knew that. What then? Maybe, it's about dying to my own agenda. Maybe it's about what God wants to do through me when I stop trying to force my life to conform to the mold that I have so carefully constructed for it. I want to make everything fit just so, I want to be in charge: cool, collected, running everything smoothly from my vantage point on high. And God's saying, "Let go, little girl. You have no idea what I have in store."

A dear friend of mine experienced a horrible loss. I'm sure there were moments when she was convinced that this tragedy was hers alone. She bore the pain, she shed the tears, she would live with the outcome for the rest of her life. And yet, beautiful things began to grow in that empty place... Many, many people were touched by her loss. In fact, a non-profit organization was begun in memory of her loved one. Maybe it's cliche to say so, but the ripple effect was enormous.

I am struck by how interwoven our lives are. You affect me and vice versa. It's inescapable. And since we can't control the outcome of any given situation, since each unique perspective must deal with its own joys and sorrows, it is impossible to be completely in control. A hard lesson for me to learn. But somehow freeing, too. Because when I unclench my fist, back away, and let God do his thing, he is able to weave something profoundly good in each facet, each outcome of my actions. It means that a book that I write in my little house in small town, Iowa can have an enormous impact on a growing church in Monrovia, Liberia. And it will. It means that my job is less managerial and more an act of obedience. It means that my perspective is just one of many.

I'm fine with that

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