Seeing the BIG PICTURE
The 18th of March has been a significant day on my calendar as far back as I remember—it was Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary. Today, 70 years since March 18th 1946, my parents are celebrating LIFE in their heavenly mansion and I’m so glad they are together again. Their offspring are dotted around the globe—all 35 of us! We comprise 14 children (including 7 spouses), 16 grandchildren (including 5 spouses) and 5 great grandchildren. We live in America (New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington), Australia (Sydney, Blue Mountains, Adelaide, Darwin and Whyalla), England (London) and of course Sri Lanka (Colombo and Kandy). My parents may have physically left the world but we remember them with thanksgiving every day and their legacy lives on.
Here’s a quick look back at 7 decades:
70 years ago: Mum and Dad were married.
60 years ago: I was a twinkle in my Mum’s eye, being conceived shortly after.
50 years ago: I was a carefree 8 year old growing up in sunny Sri Lanka.
40 years ago: I was an 18 year old, just out of school, tasting the big wide world.
30 years ago: I was 28, starting a new chapter of life, with my new husband.
20 years ago: I was 38, bringing up a lively 6 year old in the Land of my birth.
10 years ago: I was 48, raising a teenager in this beautiful Land Down Under
Today: I’m 58 years young, enjoying life under the umbrella of God's goodness and care.
The years seem to have disappeared in a flash. It seems just the other day when …
I was a child, just starting this exciting journey we call life
I was found by God and life exploded in joy and purpose
I spent 12 exciting years in Youth For Christ, thriving in its ministry
Prince Charming whisked me away to live happily ever after
I became a Mum. Oh happy day.
We arrived in this lovely Land Down under
I was called of God to become a writer.
The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that life’s journey is made up of many different seasons.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Eccl 3:1.
Some of those seasons are exciting, others are downright miserable. But you know what? As I look back now, I can view the big picture at last instead of the small baby screen I've zoomed on during the different stages of my life.
There’s a great thrill in achieving one’s dreams, in finding with relief that one has made it through the storms of life and reached safe harbour. When my son was little, helping him navigate life was far from easy. But we did it one day at a time. Likewise, I believe we built our marriage, not overnight but just one day at a time. It’s not that challenges didn’t abound. They sure did— in fact, often trials and tough times rained on us, thick and fast, unrelenting. But as I look back, I realise that those difficulties created deeper satisfaction and deeper joy. If life was all too easy, there would be no sense of achievement, would there?
Are you in the midst of a squally season? If so, please do hang in there.
Although it may feel like it would last forever, this too shall pass.
And here’s a little exercise that might help you:
1. Think of a time when God brought you through a tough time.
a. Recall the relief you experienced and revel in it.
b. Give thanks to Him for bringing you through.
2. Bring to mind special people in your life who’ve blessed you.
a. Celebrate them. Write a letter to appreciate one of them.
3. Ponder on this blessed season, lent, and what it is all about.
a. Kneel at the cross and adore your Saviour.
4. And finally … zoom out of today.
Now, picture your life in five, ten or twenty years time, as you hope it will be. Aim at getting there with God’s help. Stay in that happy place for awhile. Once your heart’s been blessed and saturated with hope, return to your daily walk, renewed in the knowledge that He who cares for you, will never leave you nor forsake you.
God is still God and always will be. His goodness will permeate every chapter of our lives.
His love is eternal. His faithfulness abounds to all generations.
“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow.
God will take care of your tomorrow too.
Live one day at a time.” Matthew 6:34 (TLB)