A Matter of Perspective

Last weekend we were snowed in! Winter had not even officially arrived yet, and our area was hit with about ten inches of snow! Although it resulted in many cancellations and hours of shoveling and plowing, I have to admit, it was beautiful!

We were entertaining two Brazilian teenagers who had never seen snow in their lives. What fun to see their reactions, as well as to bundle them up and send them out to sled and make snow angels!

Seeing the huge piles of snow lining the streets this week took me back to my childhood. I grew up in a large city and walked to and from school each day. Whenever it snowed (which was pretty often in Canada), residents had to shovel their sidewalks, making giant mounds along the edges of their lawns.

How I loved those huge piles of snow! I could never bring myself to walk on the cleared sidewalks when those mountains of white were begging to be climbed! I imagined myself a great mountain climber, scaling towering cliffs and reaching unconquered summits! At times my weight would break through a crusty top layer and I’d sink to the top of my thigh. My friends and I would laugh and carry on and arrive at school with boots packed with melting balls of ice!

Looking back I recognize that those wintery hills were actually not very tall at all. Although they seemed to tower over me as a child, now that I’m an adult, I see them much more accurately.

I find so many things in life are like those heaps of snow. The challenges that seem massive and daunting to us actually look miniscule to the King of the universe. As Scripture says, “Nothing is impossible with God.” When I am going through a tough situation, it seems gigantic. But when I look at it from God’s perspective, it suddenly shrinks.

G. K. Chesterton once said, “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” Or, to put it even more simply, “The difference between a mountain and a molehill is simply perspective.”

As this year draws to a close and a new one dawns, I certainly don’t know what hardships we all may face today and tomorrow…perhaps financial needs, marriage difficulties, parenting challenges, health issues. I do know that no heap of problems is insurmountable with Jesus’ help.

So, no matter what lies ahead in 2010, I aim to handle it just like I did those snow banks of my childhood. I will choose to view life’s trials as beautiful heights to be gained, not nasty nuisances to complain about. I plan to put on my spiritual boots, march up to those problems and scramble over them, knowing that one day I’ll look back and see them for the tiny bumps they really were. Care to join me?