The sun is shining outside, my heart is beating, the air conditioning is keeping me cool in the heat of the summer. I open our refrigerator and there is food. As a matter of fact, more food than what we need. I’m rich. No, my 401K portfolio is not nearly close to what it needs to be for retirement; my children’s college savings plan looks pretty skimpy at the moment. Our van has more miles than the trail of tears and we have spent many vacation days around our hometown. Still, believe me, we are lavishly, wonderfully rich.
You see, an abundant life is a matter of perspective. I know many people who have much more than we do and who are so very poor. Then there are those who will never have anything or do anything of much consequence in life because, well, they don’t believe they can. Faith believes that which we cannot yet see, and the key to success in life is to fully trust that fulfilling your God-given dream is just a matter of time. It is also to cherish and be grateful for the things you do have. As basic as these concepts may seem, they are not easily grasped in real life.
We cannot easily count the examples of people who overcame adversity. Great men and women in history who became successful not because “destiny” handed them a fair share, but because they fixed their eyes on their goal and would not quit until they arrived to their destination. Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, Helen Keller – their names are forever engraved in the list of “Unforgettables” because they had a vision, saw beyond their circumstances and never stopped believing.
What changes our perspective in life is the same for all of us – we look at our circumstances and become fearful and paralyzed. We hear the word cancer and we think death. We lose our job and our hope walks out the door. We anchor our worth on things instead of on the amazing, all powerful grace of a God who deeply loves us and who wants the best for us. As we fix our eyes on the storms and uncertainties of life, we forget that the problems we face do not define who we are and certainly do not determine our future. Regardless of how old we are, our story is not over until we draw our last breath. When asked about success, Michael Jordan’s statement was a sober reminder of the key to success: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
The next time you look at your circumstances and feel tempted to quit or get discouraged, I challenge you to take a step back and broaden your view. As if through the scope of a camera, open your lenses wide and zoom out of your problem. Take a second, honest look into your life. Count your many blessings. Take a nature walk to view God’s faithfulness to the birds and the flowers. Sing a song of praise. Next, grab a firm hold of your vision. Your dream. God’s promises. Above all, even if you are bleeding, just keep on walking. Do not give your problem more power than it already has. Remember that God honors those who trust in him; those who work diligently to fulfill their purpose in life and never give up. Make yours an unforgettable story of strength, faith and success.