A Fresh Perspective

Spring Break is just around the corner. But in order to get there, I have to get past a mountain of obligations. I am determined to not spend spring break working on school stuff. I have committed it to finishing up Infinity’s Reach. And so I find myself spending long hours during the week, and even weekends trying to get caught up.

I am sure you can commiserate. Everyone has been there–nose to the grindstone and shoulder to the wheel. You do that long enough and you get so all you can see is your work and nothing else, which is really depressing.

This morning I headed into work early. When I got out of my car outside my office, I heard a familiar Tat-a-tat-a-Tat. I looked up on a utility pole to see a red-headed woodpecker up there, oblivious to everything but his perennial job of drilling holes and looking for grubs. Immediately I stopped thinking about my job and started thinking about his. That got me to thinking about a particular mockingbird–the Texas state bird, mind you–who greets me every morning with a cheerful song. I think he–or she–has a nest near my office, because I see him/her every day.

And then I thought back to one of the darkest days of my life, back in 1973. I had been studying for most of a year to pass a test while I was a student in Austria. Out of 12 students who took the test, I was one of two who didn’t pass. After committing so much to a project, I was devastated. I walked away from the administration building where I was in school, praying that God would help lighten my burden and help me understand. Even though I was lost in my thoughts and didn’t pay attention to where I was going, my footsteps took me out to a pasture where I had gone to pray many late nights. And suddenly I stopped. There, not 20 feet away from me, was a beautiful deer. We stood looking at each other for quite a while before she slowly walked away.

There was no direct answer why I hadn’t passed this test for which I had studied so hard. But God’s answer was clear: don’t worry about it. Life is a lot more than just tests, or projects, or jobs. When we are dead and gone, people won’t remember us for a test we passed, or a book we got published. Those who really care about us will remember us for who we were. And that’s God’s bottom line.

Life is meant to be lived day by day. And that’s all God gives us, one day at a time.

So who are we to squander it, worrying about tomorrow?