perspective

Chris, Kenneth Wallace and Jonathan Pugh at Guilford CollegeI’ve been wrestling lately with what specifically I’d like to write/blog about. Have you ever had one of those seasons, days, weeks where there were so many things going on around you that you felt like you just needed to sit down and somehow try to capture those moments on paper or in your mind? This past week has been one of those for me…

Erwin McManus shares some great insight on times like this in his book, Chasing Daylight. He discusses how life is constantly in motion, made up the moments that come our way and what we do with those moments. For some, we love to take photographs, capture moments, relive experiences. However, photographs are simply still-shots of a life, an event in motion. And you can’t stay there…which for some of us is somewhat a depressing thought.Yet, I truly believe there’s a deep need in our lives – not to relive moments, finding yourself stuck in your past – but to capture, to seize the full weight of moments that come along in our lives. Our word Moment comes from the Greek word atomos, which is also where we get our English words atom and atomic. The details and weight of moments. Think about that…

In Judges 6:14, God tells Gideon, Go in the strength that you have…and honestly, some days that’s all you can do, right? Lately, I’ve been struggling to find strength, to feel strong as a man, a husband, a father, a friend, a pastor. I’ve been crying out to God for strength, and most days just for sufficient strength for the day. During this time, I’ve kept this verse near me, daily, that reminds me where real, lasting strength comes from – Nehemiah 8:10: …This is a sacred day…for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Joy. Strength. There’s a connection.

So, this week has been full of some rich moments for me, moments where had I not sat down for an hour or so a few mornings ago to write them down, would have easily passed through my memory. Moments which have contained so much atomic energy, that by capturing them, I suddenly feel new strength for the journey ahead.

Justin & Lauren’s EngagementI wanted to share just a few of these moments from my journal this week, joyous moments that have served to breathe fresh life into my heart…

  • …a smooth, better-than-expected transition for Molly, Julia and I last week as Molly returned to work and the great care that Julia has during the day with family and friends who are keeping her
  • …an unexpected financial gift this week that came at just the right time for us
  • …my mother-in-law returning home after fighting through some recent health difficulties
    …the engagement of two of our good friends this past weekend, our privilege of being part of their lives and part of the event, and the honor of being asked to officiate their wedding at the end of the year
  • …conversations with students on the Guilford College Campus last week and new relationships God has given me there
  • …a conversation with my friend Kate – also at Guilford – and for a great new friendship with her
  • …time with my dad and my family last week
  • …an invitation to be trained this year in helping people discover their strengths and their true potential
  • …work of the Holy Spirit in our church community as we seem to be turning some corners and the hope of what’s ahead as we lean forward

When I look over these moments, it’s not that they’re much different than other moments we experience from any given week. The difference is perspective – how we’re seeing the things around us. One of the words I’d use to describe the Greek translation for Glory (doxa or dokeo) is perspective, or to think. And what I think is that life is filled with moments where we find strength – long-lasting strength or sufficient strength – when we discover the presence of God and the joy that awaits us in the moments of a day.

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