Things aren't Always as They Seem
When I was only twenty three, I was given a very good piece of advice. A friend of mine gave me this advice in response to a misunderstanding others and I had concerning his life and identity. I told him what I had heard and what I had concluded and he simply told me it isn’t wise to make assumptions. That piece of simple advice really changed the way I approached life and the way I saw things in general. I realized that day that things aren’t always as they seem and it is never wise to jump to conclusions.
I had an experience recently that brought that truth home in an even greater way. About a month ago when I went to church, I saw a couple that sat next to my mother and me and I couldn’t help but feel jealous of them. They seemed so picture perfect especially the wife. She was the slim, blond with the perfect smile and figure, her husband was handsome and she had a new baby as well as some other children. To me she was the picture of feminine success. Maybe I sound like I’m coming out to the fifties, but for me a happily married woman with a gorgeous husband and pretty children, while being able to keep her looks in tact is a measure of success, on a feminine level anyway.
I went home that Sunday questioning my life and feeling pretty cheated. I kept thinking “ I’m still single and I still haven’t found Mr. Right and here was Miss Pretty sitting next to me at church with her gorgeous husband and children and she didn’t look a day over twenty seven”. I started to question God, and life’s fairness, never realizing that even pretty people have their crosses to.
The next Sunday when I went to church I saw that same couple again, but this time I noticed something I didn’t notice before. My mother pointed out that there may be something wrong with one of her children. I did remember the previous Sunday she had to leave early because one of her children started to cry. She was carrying that same child on her lap and I couldn’t help but notice a tube coming from his body. It just so happened, her little boy had a breathing tube attached to his throat. Her precious little boy could not breathe on his own.
My picture of the perfect family came crashing down. I suddenly realized that the woman that I thought had the perfect life just last Sunday; also had a special needs child. I also couldn’t help but notice how well she handled this difficult situation. She treated this precious child with so much love and tenderness, no one would have imagine how difficult all this must have been for her. I suddenly realized how selfish I was by feeling sorry for myself, when the object of my envy truly had a difficult life. My jealousy suddenly turned to admiration.
I began to think of her very differently, I realized that she wasn’t just beautiful physically but she also had a beautiful heart to match; a heart that could only be had by a loving mother, who unselfishly gives it all for her children. My whole perspective changed when I finally got more information, and I didn’t let my over active imagination, not to mention, my feelings take over my mind.
Not only did my perspective change, but my attitude changed as well. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I started to thank God for all the good things in my life, I started to count my blessings rather than see what was missing in the picture. I also began to pray for this dear lady and her special needs child. I realized that just because I still haven’t found Mr. Right that doesn’t mean that being married meant all my troubles will be over, far from it, with every new relationship one is always faced with a new set of challenges.
Experiences like these makes one see life from a completely different perspective; I started to realize that this life is not an eternal arrangement, and was very glad for it being just a temporal state. Yes, all good things pass away, I have often experienced that, but I also realized that bad things pass as well. That it is one’s attitude that makes all the difference. A very wise woman once told me that even though we cannot always choose what will happen to us, we can choose how we will react.
For us to be able to choose the right attitude we need an eternal perspective, a perspective like the one that young woman had. I could see that even though she had a special needs child she was still at church praising God for all the blessings in her life. She saw the good He does and from her attitude, I could see she had a great deal of faith that her child will one day breathe on his own. Yes, even with the hardships in her life she is a success, someone with great faith will always be successful despite their present trials.
Life is often like an endless obstacle course with many pitfalls and endless tunnels, but we must always remember there will be an end to all our sadness, the same goes to those who think the party will never end, take heed because this life although sometimes seems endless there is always a day of reckoning, because things are not always as they seem, let us be wise and always try to see beyond the surface of our present reality.
A Happy Ending
About a couple of Sundays ago. I saw the same lady and her husband with their child, only this time the child did not have a breathing tube. He was healthy and very active. I was so happy to see that this woman's faith was finally rewarded. I hope reading this has given you some hope as well.