A few days ago a buddy of mine came up from my last parish assignment for a bit of a golf excursion. In 24 hours we played 36 rounds of golf and were able to catch up on what was new in our lives with lovely Hannibal, Mo (America’s Hometown!) as the backdrop. At one point I was complaining about something- it happens every so often, I know- and my buddy replied as he often does in such circumstances (again, this wasn’t the first time…), with some variation of, “It is better than when I was in Iraq.”
You see, my friend served one tour in Iraq with the United States Army and experienced the full spectrum of what our nation has asked so many young men and woman to endure since 9/11 (and generations before I might add). This included not only rough accommodations, makeshift niceties and the lack of many basic services we all take for granted- (myself very much included) but also extremely taxing and mentally exhausting life and death situations; the likes of which caused General William Tecumseh Sherman some 150 years ago to proclaim, “War is hell.”
Touché I thought to myself. I needed to be reminded again that perspective is everything- and that we are in control of our perspective. We can choose to be grateful, to be kind and to love; even if we do not feel the situation or the person “deserves it.” Or, we can choose not to be grateful or loving; which we so often do. And by ‘we’ I mean, ‘me, myself and I.’
Except today Today, I am choosing to be grateful; not only for what I do have but for the kind reminder to put it all into perspective.
* This blog post is humbly dedicated to the men and woman of the Armed Forces in gratitude for their service to our Nation