A Matter of Perspective

225This past Sunday I found myself driving to the airport in the pre-dawn darkness planning on staying awake just long enough to sleep through a two hour, early morning flight to Dallas.

As I smoothly guided my little MR2 around the corner from I25 onto I225 north I found myself momentarily befuddled. You see I225 actually heads mostly east at this point, yeah, don’t ask, and there, in front of me, in the phantom light of early morning, I saw mountains on the horizon.

If you’ve ever been to Denver you know the mountains are on the west. To the east is the beginnings of the great plains…NO mountains…even very few hills.

I started to wonder if I had taken the wrong exit. I started checking the road that I had taken so many times before to be sure all the proper landmarks were in place. The entire landscape started to look unfamiliar and different. It probably took me close to 30 seconds to fully convince myself I was headed in the right direction.

And then I realized the “mountains” were just clouds.

For the next ten minutes or so my mind kept bouncing back and forth between the assurance that I was following a well known path and the suspicion that I was headed into some entirely new, unknown, potentially misleading landscape. I must have checked the next six or seven exit signs just to be sure they were filing by in the corrected order. But that rolling feeling of strangeness and discomfiture continued.

Fortunately I wasn’t lead astray. I stuck to, constantly glancing at the mountainous clouds which became more and more evidently clouds as the sun came up and as it did my discomfiture ebbed.

Those several minutes stuck with me though and made me wonder, how often does this kind of thing happen in everyday living? How often does some odd cloud on the horizon of life suddenly change my entire perspective and cause me to question where I am headed, cause me to question if I even really know where I am at all?

Allow me to share three lessons I learned from my Sunday morning encounter:

1. We’ll all encounter clouds on the horizon of life.It is inevitable. Usually we know they’re clouds and we know how to handle clouds but sometimes they’ll look a LOT like something else, something different, something disturbing to our normal order. When that happens remind yourself they’re just clouds.

2. Clouds are temporary

When you find odd shaped clouds on the horizon of life remember that clouds are temporary. Yes they may LOOK like permanent mountains but don’t allow that to stop you. Consider them carefully and you’ll discover they’re really clouds, no need to change course. (Of course CAREFUL consideration is the key…just in case you ARE going the wrong way and they ARE mountains!)

3. We don’t have to be fooled.These confounding clouds can confuse us but when we stick to what we know rather than giving in to the emotion of the moment we find that our path hasn’t changed, nor does it need to change. We can, and will, continue towards our goal, even getting a laugh out of the moments confusion if we allow ourselves the freedom to laugh.

When we find ourselves confronted by a confusing set of clouds on the horizon, if we remember that it is expected, it is worthy of careful consideration and it is temporary we can more easily navigate the confusion they cause and continue towards our original goal. It’s really a matter of perspective.

What are the “mountainous clouds” that have popped up on your horizon? How have you navigated that strange set of moments?

 

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