A Fresh Perspective
When I was growing up, Sunday dinner at my grandma’s was a lot like that. My older boy cousins, my uncles and my dad, every Sunday: Lions or Packers, Ford or GM, Union or non-union, snow tires or chains. It got pretty loud until Grandma called it off for food. It disturbed me as a child, thinking they were “fighting.” My mom told me, “Men, where football, cars or politics are concerned, all have opinions. It has nothing to do with logic. Next week they’ll just as likely be rooting for the other side!” I listened after that and discovered she was right. The cousin who thought the Packers were the best team ever in the world, a couple weeks later decided the Lions would be undefeated! The cousin who hated Ford, worst car in the world, bought his first car; a Ford. He said it gets the best gas mileage, it’s affordable and available. He was happy with his Ford! All a matter of perspective.
I’ve noticed a lot of gloom and doom among facebook friends for the past month. For those who are despairing, may I offer a suggestion? Switch! At least once a day, change the station on your TV and radio. Listen to people with different perspectives. You’ll realize that the very points on which you despair, other people take hope. The cause of your sadness is the same cause of happiness for others whose opinions are just as valid as your own. I’m not saying change your opinion, just opine with wider perspective. A man last Sunday told me he didn’t like the election result, “but I’m hoping for the best. I hope this turns out to be the best administration ever. I’m willing to wait and see.” A healthy perspective.
As we light our third Advent candle this week, we are called to think about Joy. Where do we find it? Is it within or without? Elusive? Or, is it a matter of perspective? As we meditate on the rose candle this week, let’s look for different perspectives on anything that is a hurdle to finding that joy. Joy isn’t elusive; it’s within. Most often the hurdle to our joy is of our own making; it’s our perspective. Let’s move joyfully into the final weeks of Advent Season with fresh perspective and joy.