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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Objects in the Mirror May Be Larger Than They Appear

Collectively we are doing a lot of checking our rear view mirrors these days. I notice a lot of us looking back and wondering if a 1930’s style depression--that boogie man that everyone promised could never happen again--is gaining ground on us. Looking in the rear view mirror can be a very scary thing. That is the thing about fear—things tend to look larger than they are.

Looking backwards can also be comforting, even hopeful. I spoke with two elders today, one for lunch and the other on the phone. As elders, they have legitimate concerns about outliving their savings. If the depression starts to gain ground in our rear view mirror, that would have significant consequences for both of them.

What struck me was that both elders were looking back in the mirror and finding hope, not fear. Both spoke of the comfort they found in realizing that life generally hadn’t worked out the way they had scripted it. There were twists and turns and things that they never would have foreseen. Without minimizing the hard times, both indicated that what they sense now is a feeling of gratitude. Less for material things, and more for the relationships, experiences, and even struggles they faced.

I wonder if this has something to do with realizing you have made it through hard times; that the thing you thought was going to kill you made you stronger…and maybe even a sense of God’s presence in the midst of it all.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:34, The Message)

What do you feel when you look in the rear view mirror?