However...when I landed in Iowa this last week, I was not greeted with the fresh smell of farms, the fields in bloom, the wind blowing gracefully through the evergreen trees, or the sunsets appearing to set afire the landscape. No, I was smacked in the face with cold frigid weather as soon as I walked out of the airport in Cedar Rapids. I went to get my car, and immediately got stuck behind a salt truck. Within 10 miles of leaving the airport, my Black 2014 Nissan Maxima rental car, was now as white as snow. Dirty snow that is. Nothing but mud, dirty snow, and ice welcomed me back into the beautiful state that I failed to recognize. I had to take a double take and evaluate if I had gotten off the plane in the wrong state, but quickly realized that my GPS was telling me that I was indeed on my way to Dubuque, IA. For as far as the eye could venture, there were muddy fields, as nothing was yet planted. When I left Iowa yesterday, I was greeted with an airport that wasn't even open yet, the TSA hadn't started working the security gate, and there was no key drop for the unattended AVIS counter. I looked at the computer monitor and saw that due to rain coming through Iowa and Chicago (my layover destination) there were all kinds of flights cancelled. Through some kind of providence, I was able to board a plane that wasn't scared of a little weather. When our wheels left the runway, you could feel the plane moving sideways from the rushing wind. The turbulence was frightening as we bounced all over the sky while ascending through those miserable gray clouds. What ugliness they portrayed.
As soon as we broke through the clouds, it was like we were floating. The air was not turbulent anymore, and I could see the most beautiful scenery my eyes had ever beheld. The sun was rising in the East and reflecting off of a large bed of marshmallow looking clouds. You could almost see every color of the rainbow down below me. Life was Grand from 30,000 feet up. I didn't see any of the ugliness of the terrain, or experience any of the turbulence from the dark looming clouds.
I was instantly reminded of how we tend to lose perspective in life. We remember things one way, but when they turn out to be different, we get bent out of shape. Just becuase my experience in Iowa was polar opposite from last year, doesn't mean that I did not have fun along the way. I met some of the nicest people a person could hope to make acquaintances with. I ate some of the best food. To top it off, I had nothing but me and the open road to listen to my audio Bible app for hours on end.
My friends, life is what you make of it. I have happiness in life, because I choose not to live in bondage to the things of this world, but to surrender my life daily to Jesus Christ. I choose not to worry about what is coming around the bend, because I know that His Holy Spirit is directing me. There are always going to be hardships in life, it is what we make of those. You can either learn from them and let it mature you, or you can let them shape you into something that is not becoming for the eye to behold. Wisdom is not just handed to you. It is attained by walking through the Fire of Life and learning from your mistakes. Foolishness is ill gotten gain that is merely a puff of happiness for that selfish moment in time.
One of my favorite quotes is from Oswald Chambers:
"The height of the mountain top is judged by the drab drudgery of the valley, for it is in the valley that you live for the Glory of God!"
Do you need to Change Your Perspective in Life? Take a close look at the picture attached to this Blog. What do you see?