Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In "Other" Words

"Lower your expectations of earth. This isn't heaven, so don't expect it to be."~ Max Lucado ~

This quote reminds me of a section at the beginning of Linda Dillow's book, "Calm My Anxious Heart". The section is titled, "Contentment Begins With An Eternal Perspective." The word perspective according to Webster's suggests "looking through; seeing clearly; the capacity to view things in their true relation of relative importance." Living my life with an eternal perspective helps keep life on earth in its proper place.

In her book, Linda shares the story of a missionary who worked with the pygmies in Africa for fifty-two years. She goes on to say that "primitive doesn't begin to describe her living conditions in the scorching heat and humidity of the African bush." Her daughter discovered "...a treasure, a much more significant find than gold or silver. In an old diary of her mother's, she discovered her prescription for contentment."

Her words convict my heart every time I read them.

  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather

  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else

  • Never compare your lot with another's

  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise

  • Never dwell on tomorrow - remember that tomorrow is God's, not ours

The words of this missionary are powerful. In her book, Linda concludes this section with these words: "The secret is in her last statement. Her eyes were fixed on eternity. Her tomorrows belonged to God. She had given them to Him. And because all her tomorrows were nestled in God's strong arms, she was free to live today. One day at a time she could make the right choices and grow to possess the holy habit of contentment. Her focus was eternal, and her focus led to an internal contentment."

It is so easy to place value in "earthly" things rather than "eternal" things. I have learned to ask myself the question, "Does this (thing, event, place, etc.) have any eternal value?" A verse I have written on the inside cover of my bible as a reminder to keep an eternal perspective is 1 Timothy 6:15, God... is the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and the master of all masters.

For more In "Other" Words visit Iris at Sting My Heart


eph2810 said...

Chris, this is beautiful. I have to write those statements down and remind myself that tomorrow belongs to God and no one else.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this week's IOW quote.

I hope that you and your family had a blessed Memorial Day weekend.

Be blessed today and always.

Believer said...

Being content in every situation is a reasonable request. Whether in feast or famine I should be able to say, "It is well with my soul." This revelation forms a foundation for all the lessons that have followed.

I find it humorous that God would teach lessons of truth through a missionary who lived a primitive lifestyle. He’s brilliant!

Heavenly Voice

Miriam Pauline said...

WOW! Those are definitely words to live by. This post resounds with my spirit today, I need to let those exhortations sink in. Thank you.

Denise said...

Very beautiful, bless you.

Lori said...

My Dad and I always have the running joke when things are not going well, or as planned we say "well what does this make in the perspective of eternity" usually not much. Perspective is a powerful thing.

Thanks for the quote from the book.

Anonymous said...

Terrific post. Love the list. We are here for a only a tiny blip on the timeline of eternity.

Phillip Keller wrote about his mother as a wonderful, godly, happy lady always smiling. She lived in a hut made of dung in Africa serving others most of her life. I have a loooong ways to go.

I recently moved my blog and lost a lot or readers. Hope you get a chance to browse and comment.


Susanne said...

Chris: this was very powerful and exactly what I needed to hear today!

Hopeful Spirit said...

Great prescription for a happy life, but so hard to live up to! A reminder that we all need guidance and support each and every day.

Janis Rodgers said...

It is so easy to concentrate on the worldly things rather than the things of God. Thanks for reminding us that if we have God, then nothing else should concern us! Blessings to you!

Pearls of Wisdom said...

Wonderful post and so true Amen! Thanks for sharing. It is so important to be happy with and where we are in life.
May the Lord bless you this week and always.

Angel ( Angel Mama Pearls of Wisdom)

Darlene Schacht said...

I love the question on eternal value. Thanks

Heth said...

I need to print this out and hang it on my kitchen cupboard. Powerful stuff.

Nise' said...

Love the prescription for contentment. I am going to print that out!

Crystal said...

I loved this post....it's so powerful...I need to write those things down to that my tomorrows belong to God.....
Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...


I loved the perscription for contentment. Thanks for sharing them.

I have to say, I do a poor job of [Never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather]... I live in Minnesota and I am a weather whiner. I start in about November and don't stop until the middle of May!

Anonymous said...

Excellent once again.

I Chronicles 29:15 "For we are aliens and pligrims before You,
As were all of our fathers;
Our days on earth are as a shandow,
And without hope."

Unless we have the eternal perspective you have so well articlulated.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I will look up that book too. Sounds very encouraging and thought provoking.

Linda said...

Chris- once again you have written words that go straight to my heart. I am learning to live in this way - or else I would find myself in the pit of dispair. To know that He holds my tomorrows and those of my loved ones gives me the peace I long for.
Thank you for a beautiful post.

Tammy said...

This was wonderful, and something I needed to read, for sure. Such great wisdom and the missionary's words on contentment are powerful, considering her circumstances.

Your blog is such a blessing to me, Chris!

Praise and Coffee said...

Ahhh, complaining and comparing- these are big struggles. Thanks for the words of wisdom!

Thanks also for the words of love on my blog!

Alycia said...

I am so happy I discovered your blog! I love these words and have also read, Calm my Anxious Heart. Thank you for sharing your insight and may you have a Blessed day!

Noctemjo said...

Thank you so much-this has truly been a blessing today-the right word at the right time. God Bless.