"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.