Swapping out lenses

About a year ago I had a powerful thought hit me during my quiet time – what if I were to change the lens from which I viewed life from the setting of MY life and onto THIS life.  What if I saw our kids as THESE kids instead of just MY kids.  And on and on.

Like anything, there are dangerous extremes here that would fully negate my point so I don’t want to advocate going off the deep end of irresponsibility –> “Its not really MY life so I’ll just sit back and see how it plays out!” but I guess I was more thinking of the other extreme of entitlement –> picture in your head the sound of a 2 yr olds high pitch scream “Mine, MINE!!”

When I only see things in terms of me — my happiness, my contentment, my well behaved kids and my picture perfect life I start to drift into entitlement territory.  I become convinced that if I do it all just right then I am entitled to positive outcomes.  If the outcome is not so hot, either I must have done it wrong or some sweet fool wronged me or there was a mix up along the way because that was NOT how it was supposed to be.  {listen close….you can hear that 2 yr old again, can’t you}

The problems with that view are not only obvious but too vast to list.  There are alot of “me’s” in that paragraph and the only mention of someone else is that sweet fool who screwed up.  🙂   If we camp out there too long we not only become bitter and self-absorbed but we run the risk of forgetting how to see beyond ourselves!  In times when life gets messy it is really easy in this mindset to park in the ‘Why me?’ of it all.  This isn’t how I envisioned MY life.  This isn’t what I was worked toward.  This isn’t what I want.  Because lets face it — we all know of people who have done it all right, who always put others first, who always took the high road — and life still didn’t go their way.

So what happens when we switch the lens to THIS and THESE.  This life.  Yes, I’m living it and have responsibilities in it, but I don’t have the tight gripped ownership that I once thought I did.  Things happen outside of my control and my plan.  Things aren’t all about me.  Sometimes the sacrifices and the hard times are to grow me — but sometimes they are not about me at all!  Sometimes they are there to grow others and sometimes (I really believe) they are just to make me take my eyes off of myself.

Life is not an if/then equation.  It doesn’t work that way.  We are given promises from a good God who wants good things for us.

He promises that He is always there for us… not that we’ll never feel lonely.

He promises that He loves us… not that everyone will love us.

He promises an end to the story that is perfect… not a perfect story.

I fully trust that I am in THIS life for a reason.  I have THESE kids and THIS husband and THESE friends for a reason.  And that reason isn’t ME.  It’s so much more!  I pray that I can hover somewhere safely between irresponsibility and entitlement to see how it all plays out for His purpose.  And in those times when I drift toward entitlement, will someone kindly put me in a time out please?

Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 10:07 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a great lesson, for us and for our kids. It’s nearly impossible to teach though. You have to live the example. Great job doing that and thank you for sharing the challenge with all of us.

  2. […] read back you’ll see it in Confessions of a Control Freak,  It’s not about _____, and Swapping out Lenses.   There is a bigger thing going on in this life.  It isn’t about the day to day, it is […]

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