Often times I lack it. That, and appreciation. And I take for granted most everything I have.
Today I woke up that way. Instead of thankfulness for simply waking up with breathe in my lungs, I rose with a sense of entitlement. I’m owed perfection. Each moment of the day must fall in line with my expectations, my plan, otherwise it’s ruined. I rise like this more often than I’d like to admit.
In actuality nothing really happened today, this most ordinary of days. It’s not like I’m sick, when seemingly most everyone else around me is or is now recovering from a cold or the flu. I’m not in the hospital, neither in a bed nor standing over one. So what is it then? Nothing. Nothing at all. Certainly not something that should ever set someone off. But I lacked perspective. Little things interrupt or interfere the best laid plans. And it’s not like I really had any plans today either. It was just one of those days where I just can’t seem to roll with the punches or play the cards I’m dealt. It’s like I wanted to move through this day, in the easiest manner possible, without any distractions or interference. Just “be”, and let me be, and get outta my way.
I had planned on diving into the minutia of the day to illustrate the nothingness that steers me off course, when my thought process instead led me almost instantly to a much more poignant and sobering reminder about perspective that I would do well to recount here.
Two years ago (coincidentally, precisely two years ago yesterday) we agonized over where to send our twin boys to school… private, public, Montessori, Christian, clown college, etc. The decision plagued us for weeks, months even. I felt (unrealistically) that this was so monumental that even one small mistake could potentially jeopardize their ability learn and set them back developmentally. This is only 1st grade mind you. But I just wanted to do the right thing and give them an advantage, a leg up, something better than what I had. Wanting more, or something better, for your kids isn’t wrong, but not having perspective on what’s really important is. So we were stressed. I was moody. What to do, what to do. Stress and worry, stress and worry.
We pull up to a potential school, park and wait in our car, a few minutes early for our appointment. The boys sit quietly in the back seat, probably watching a video, completely unaware of their parents fixation on their forthcoming elementary education. As we wait I check the Caring Bridge website for an update on my best friend’s baby boy. The news is not completely unexpected, yet no less shocking and gut wrenching. He has passed. The cancer was just too much for the little guy. He was just shy of 11 months old.
I was broken. Undone.
So we sit a bit longer in our car, the wife and I sobbing behind sunglasses, trying to conceal our grief from our boys. And then guilt, as 2 sets of healthy, bright blue eyes stare back at me in my rearview mirror.
I have a little more now. I’ll hold them a little closer now. In light of eternity it doesn’t really matter if they ever step foot into school again so long as they’re healthy and happy and most importantly love God with all their hearts.
I have a great life. I have a beautiful wife and kids. We’re all healthy. We have everything we need and many things we want. How is it that some days that’s not enough?
We lose sight of what’s really important and focus in on the little things that aren’t.
So excuse me while I go apologize to a very patient family for losing perspective today.