The bed was toasty. Flannel sheets and a quilt created a hard-to-leave cocoon. The window was open just wide enough to hear the rain bouncing off of the patio wall. It was Saturday and there was no rush to leave such comfort behind. I stirred a bit and Eugene, working on his computer nearby, welcomed me to the day.
“Rise and shine. The sun is out.”
“No it’s not,” came my sluggish response.
“It is above the clouds,” he declared.
His five simple words cleared the morning haze between my ears. A new perspective was dawning.
I pondered past airplane flights where we seemed to glide in the heavens with a puffy cloud turf below, masking all signs of terrestrials and terrain. The sun blinding passengers, while those below denied the warmth because of sequestered rays.
Perspective is, indeed, a funny thing; something I was reminded of just days earlier. Rare conflicts with separate clients on the same day had soured my mood, so when 3 o’clock rolled around that afternoon I was practically sprinting to get to the pool to work out some stress.
Despite it being winter, the water was warm. High clouds blanketed the sky, creating a light glow from the hiding sun. As usual, I started the workout by walking, which usually leads to a conversation with one of the guards—provided pool activity is low. The dialogue has it own rhythm, and ebbs and flows as I near their end of the pool, lasts for a few seconds until I begin my retreat walking backward to the other side, then resumes for my return trip—36 in all.
Guard Yvonne asked how I was doing. Since I was the only one in the pool, she made—and kept—eye contact.
“I’m grumpy,” I admitted.
“Me, too,” she said as she unloaded about a host of irritations.
We compared notes for a couple of laps then we fell silent for a few more.
As I neared earshot again I announced that we would soon be feeling better.
“How is that?” she asked.
“I just prayed for both of our attitudes.”
Genuinely touched by the act, she thanked me.
I smiled as I began my backward motion. I could see something she could not.
“Look, the sun is out.”
A quick glance to her left revealed a small break in the clouds where a halo surrounded the sun.
Wide grins had supplanted previously tense jaws.
The Apostle Paul understood this need for a new perspective. He addresses it several times in Scripture. One of my favorites is this:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. – (Colossians 3:1-3 ESV)
The sound of fresh rain from the Saturday storm interrupted my flashback. The temptation to pull the sheets and blankets over my head had subsided and soon both feet were firmly planted on the floor.
It was time for breakfast. Eggs, sunny-side up.