Saturday, September 14, 2013

Perspective from the 42nd Floor

Funny how moving up a few floors can change your perspective on things. 

This week, Christina and I had the opportunity to go to downtown New Orleans and stay in a hotel for the night.  We needed a break.  We needed to get away from it all, just for a little while.  Twenty-four hours; that’s all we needed.

The stress of moving a family of four to the other side of the world was getting to us.  What to keep, what to throw away, what to pack, what to leave here?  The kids are in the boxes again.  The kids are jumping on the bed again.  The clothes that were neatly folded on the couch are now strewn all over.  The kids are running around screaming.  The kids need to go outside!

The car is not selling yet.  Nobody even seems interested.  How are we going to sell this car?  

Did you call the credit card company?  Did you call the bank?  We still have to sign our will.

Can you buy deodorant there?  Do we need to bring any "important" papers with us?

Oh, did you remember to pack the socks? 

Then there’s the emotional stress of saying goodbye to family and friends for the last time.  We want to squeeze every second of quality time with friends and family before leaving.  So we go here and there and everywhere.  We do it because we want too, cause we love them, cause we’re going to miss them so much!  Lots of lasts have been happening lately; lots of tears…

All that to say, we needed a break.

We wanted a view.  No ground level, second story room for us.  We wanted to be up high so we could see the city, the river, the places we have traveled.  One of the tallest hotels in downtown New Orleans that was within our budget was the Sheraton Hotel.

We got a room on the 46th floor; club level.  And with a club level room came certain amenities.  One of the privileges we had was access to the 42nd floor club lounge.  They served snacks up there at night, and we ate breakfast there in the morning.  Although the food was good, the best part was the view.  The whole east side was made of glass, so we had an amazing view overlooking a part of the city and the Mississippi River.

Funny how a different perspective can change your view of things.

From up high, the cars looked a little smaller than what I remember them looking like at street level.  The ten story “tall” building doesn't look so intimidating.  The huge cargo ship floating lazily down the river looks like I could reach down, pick it up in my arms and carry it with me wherever I went.  The people scurrying about, well I guess that was me before I stepped into that elevator and “up we go”.

Sitting there in my plush breakfast chair, eating cantaloupe, watermelon, scrambled eggs and a crescent roll; taking in the view as the sun was rising, the light came on.

Maybe I need to change my perspective a little. 

Here we are, four days from making the biggest move of our lives, and I finally have a sense of peace (most of you are probably wondering, “what took you so long?”).  Yes, the will still needs to be signed, some article of clothing needs to be packed somewhere, the car still needs to sell, the kids will still run around ruining things, and we still have a lot of goodbyes to say.  We might miss our connecting flight in St. Louis (we only have 25 minutes to change planes after all), our baggage might not make it even if we do.  But I finally know in my soul that it is going to be fine.  God’s in control; He always has been.
He did create the world, stars, and universe with a word from His mouth after all.  And I’m worried about a car selling or bags missing a flight?

I just needed a new perspective.

Too many times I have looked at the circumstances instead of to the One who is in charge.

I am so glad that I serve a God who always sees things from a “42nd floor” perspective.  Planes and bags arrive exactly when they are meant too, ships are easily moved, and cars sell when they are meant to sell.  He does things as He wills.  He is completely in charge of every aspect of our lives.

I've been working on memorizing a passage of Scripture that has helped bring peace and change my perspective.  It’s from Job 38:1-12 (I know, not your normal “peace passage”, but read it, it's a good one).

"Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said; “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 
Dress for action like a man; I will question you and you make known to me.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  Tell me if you have understanding.  Who determined its measurements – surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?  On what were its bases sunk or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out of the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you go and no farther and here shall your proud waves be stayed’.
Have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused the dawn to know its place…?”

There’s much more; this is just a glimpse.  In light of this, why am I ever anxious or worried about what is to come or what needs to get done?

I shouldn’t be.

I just need to change my perspective.