I am going to tell you a secret. Well, it's sort of a secret. I'm a people watcher. I know that there are others who secretly (or even very publicly) enjoy this voyeuristic past time as well. (Maybe this is why social media, like facebook, is so popular.) So far, my favorite people watching spots are the boardwalk at OCMD, the mall -but mostly at Christmas time, and the airport. I love to watch people interacting and imagine a whole scenario in my head as to what their "story" is. Are they arguing because someone left the oven on? or Did they just get a frantic call from the babysitter who has been locked in the bathroom by their five year old? or Is this guy looking nervous because he is on his way to propose to the love of his life... or maybe he just needs to desperately find a bathroom in a hurry.
I started thinking about this whole idea of just catching a snipet of someone's life. I mean, I don't really have the entire picture. I can make up any scenario I want, but it would take a lot more than a stare down in the airport to know what someone's life is about. I only have a limited perspective on any situation. As I started thinking about this more and more, I started realizing something. WE ALWAYS HAVE A LIMITED PERSPECTIVE... EVEN ON OUR OWN LIVES!!!
The age old question of "Why do bad things happen to good people?" came up recently. And, no. I don't have the answer. But, I do have a thought. First of all, don't think that God MADE bad things happen. He didn't. Did He ALLOW it to happen? Possibly. But why? Why would He allow a family to lose a young mother of three small girls and then lose their home a few months later? Why would He allow a man who has only ever served others, be involved in a fatal crash? Why would He allow a child to have a rare heart condition or cancer? I don't know.
But, then again, we all have a limited perspective. For real. In the span of eternity, or even if we could see into the next 300 years or so, there may be a positive in such negative situations. God may wait for the perfect time to perform a miracle. It just may not be in our desired time frame. Maybe it's not even during our generation. Maybe it's something that, because of the situation and how we handle things now, there will be a life changing moment for your great great grandchild. Of course, that doesn't make the crappy parts of life any easier in that moment, but, again, we don't see the big picture.
I know. It's a lot to swallow. Especially if you're the one going through it. Especially if you are smack dab in the middle of it at this very moment. It's easy to say or even think about... logically. But, those emotions and focusing on the current situation, typically take your head just about anywhere but "logical."
As the Christmas season approached this year, I heard a sermon about our faith filled responses to God. I started to think about how much absolute faith Mary must have had. I mean, she was only in hear early teens. (They got engaged and married young in those days.) I can't imagine that as this unwed teenager told her fiance or started to show, that her situation was very easy.
If I was Mary, I would have probably balked a bit. "C'mon God! Can't you fix this? Why am I the one going through this? What did I do wrong? Everyone is talking about me. I am seeing the true colors of my 'friends' when they act this way. I have no one. Joseph finally believes me, but his family and mine think that we're nuts..." Pretty sure this kind of thinking on my part would take me out of the "candidates for birthing the Son of the Living God pool." Mary just seems to take it. She doesn't go on a rant on fb (or write on the side of the stall in the stable) about how her friends and family are horrible. She knows what she was told and believes that it's true. She still has that limited perspective, but she has a decent attitude about it.
I don't know if she could have fully grasped the idea of her son, her little baby, being the Savior for the whole of mankind. How could she? For ALL of mankind. Not just her generation. Even if she was told this, eternity is a hard concept to totally get your mind around. Let alone, her baby growing up to save people. I have a hard enough time trying to imagine my kids growing up and getting married or whatever.
God can see all of that and more. He has the benefit of seeing eternity. He has the benefit of seeing what possible outcomes lie ahead for the crap that Satan throws your way. He has the benefit of the ultimate perspective. We still have that limited perspective. Like we're watching our own life from the other side of the airport. We only see the snipet we're involved in at the moment. It may not make your situation disappear to think of it this way, but if you try to think of God's perspective, you may just have a better attitude about it.