I was assigned to spend the day with an older man in the hospital who tried to take his own life less than 24 hours ago. This man doesn't have a home, he's been living in a motel lately, and his entire social circle consists of his "drinking buddies."
The thing that has stood out to me the most is how we each get such bad tunnel vision as we live our lives day to day. We get so caught up in the thick of thin things. This man had such a horrible case of tunnel vision last night that he didn't think life was worth the battle anymore. Now that the dust has settled somewhat, he is glad to still be alive, and is ashamed of what he tried to do to himself.
I can't help but think of how God is going to judge this man differently than me. Very differently. I think that we will be surprised to see how many of God's children return to him one day because they are not going to be judged according to the same set of standards that I and many others will be judged by.
Today's experience has really made me take a long step back and realize some things.
#1) Life is not as bad as it seems sometimes. Someone out there always has it much worse than I do.
#2) I need to be more grateful for all that I have been given. I take 99.999% of things for granted, mainly because I don't realize how good I have it until something is taken away from me.
#3) When life gets tough, I need to remember to slow down, take a step back, and realize that the dust will settle, the sun will rise again, and everything will work out.
I really like the picture above because to me, it takes an ordinary and bare tree, and turns it into one of the most incredible, beautiful sights that exists. When we get down on ourselves, we need to realize that we may feel like that bare tree, but to our Heavenly Father, we are so much more than we could ever imagine. I'm grateful for experiences like this that get rid of my tunnel vision and put things into perspective.