Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Driving Miss Terrie

Recently, one of my seat-belt buckles broke. Not a big deal if it's just one person driving around, but while still waiting on parts, my husband and I needed to make a trip to Winnipeg. I had two options: travel illegally and unsafely; or, ride in the back seat like Miss Daisy. I opted for the latter.
     Normally, no one rides in the back seat unless the front seat is occupied. It causes others to stare, hoping for a glimpse of royalty or celebrity. And me without my tiara.
      "Don't worry," my chauffeur/husband said as I waved to my adoring public. "If the lack of a tiara doesn't give you away, the missing hubcap, cracked windshield, and desperate need of a wash job will."
     At that point I named my chauffeur Killjoy.

Once I relaxed, I noticed something. With the front passenger seat empty, the view from the back is actually superior to the view from the front, because you not only see out the wind shield, you see a lot more along both sides. It was a beautiful summer morning, and I relished the panoramic scenes of yellow canola fields, ripening flax fields, and rows of aging straw bales along the Number One. (Okay, so maybe we don't live in the most picturesque corner of the country.)
     My new exalted position got me thinking. If such a slight change, just three feet further back, could make that much difference in my outlook, how much more could be accomplished with a slight shift in other areas?
     The next day, our kids from Alberta arrived for a 10-day stay which I had gleefully anticipated for months. When the kids from Winnipeg joined us, we were all together for the first time since Christmas 2008. I was one happy mama!
     Then the inevitable moment came when they were all gone again and I went through what every mama does...sniffling my way through the day, wondering whether the joy of reunion was worth the pain of separation.
     The following day in church, my perspective changed in an instant. I left my seat to embrace a woman who was commemorating the one-year anniversary of the death of her teenage son. Even with a year of firsts under their belts, this family's heartache had only begun.
     I cannot imagine their pain. But by changing my field of vision, I went home flooded with gratitude for all that is still mine. My thoughts shifted from "poor lonely me" to prayers of compassion for those who have real losses to grieve.
     Need a new view? Try a different seat.

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