Posts Tagged ‘ perspective ’

On Death…

100%

It’s a depressing statistic when you think about it. It doesn’t matter what you do, how hard you work, who you are, what your socio-economic status is…you are just like everyone else. You are part of the 100%. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

100% of humans will die at some point. There’s no way around. No one is getting out of this life alive.

Sorry to be so depressing, but it’s a reality we all need to be more aware of.

In 1722 Jonathan Edwards, an early American Theologian, wrote set of personal resolutions. #9 on that list was this:  “To think much, on all occasions, of my dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.”

I know it’s morbid, but I’m sure that it gave him perspective.

This past weekend my wife lost a close friend she’d known since elementary school. It was a tough loss for her and for his family. But it wasn’t completely unexpected. You see, he had Cystic Fibrosis. So, for a long time they knew that his life expectancy was going to be much shorter than most. And as tough as this was for him and for everyone who knew him and loved him, I sensed at the funeral that this knowledge helped him live a life worth remembering.

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(These are the balloons we released in honor of every year of his life.)

The funeral truly was a celebration of a life. Friends and family shared story after story about the pure goodness that was found in knowing him. His life was a blessing to others and everyone who knew him is better off because of him.

Living with the knowledge that your life will come to an end encourages you to live a life worth remembering. What kind of legacy will you leave? What will people say at your funeral?

While there were many tears shed at the funeral this week, I can assure you that everyone’s heart was filled with joy.

At the risk of being too morbid I encourage you to think much of your death. Not the way in which you will die, but the type of life you will live up until that moment.

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Perspective

I had a really cool opportunity yesterday. A good friend of mine asked me to shoot a couple head shots for some of the staff of the non-profit he started, Help One Now. (It’s awesome, by the way. Click on the name for more info.) What’s even better is that he paid me in coffee, which is usually an acceptable form of payment for me, by the way.

Anyway…while I was trying to think about a good place to take the pictures one of the guys on the team said, “What about the roof?” It was a beautiful, bright, sunny day and even though I knew the roof probably wouldn’t work because of all the shadows it could cast on them, the fact that they would probably squint a lot, and because it was super bright…I still wanted to see the view.

One thing you should know about me…I love Downtown Raleigh. I love living here. I love the people and the community. And even though it’s not the biggest city with the biggest skyline, I love the way downtown looks. Lucky for me, the rooftop I was exploring was right in the center of downtown.

I climbed the ladder to the rooftop of their office building and fell in love with my city all over again:

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One of the things I got to thinking about during the short time I was up there was, “What if we could do this with our lives?”

It’s pretty cool to find a new spot in the city and to be able to see it from a different perspective than you have before. It gives you a new appreciation for what you love and lets you in on nuances you may not have known before.

Like when you’re flying, for example. Up at 30,000 feet you have a view that you don’t normally get that gives you a different perspective on the world.

There comes a time in our lives when we need to step back and try to view what’s going on around us from a different perspective. To get that 30,000 foot view so we can get the whole picture. To do an honest assessment of the people around us, the direction our lives are heading, the choices we are making or getting ready to make and the way in which we are handling life’s situations.

Sometimes it takes drastic measures in order for us to do this. You may have to go away for a couple days. You may have to really start asking yourself some tough questions. Questions like, “Is this where I want to be? Are these decisions going to get me where I want to be? Are the people around me going to help me or hinder me from being where I need to be? If I’m not where I want to be, what changes do I need to make in order to get there?”

Maybe you’re not able to answer those questions objectively. Of course, only you are able to answer the overall question of where you want your life to go, but another thing you might try doing is asking others around you. Ask your spouse, your kids, your best friend, your girlfriend or boyfriend…whomever you’ve given permission to speak into your life.

If you change your perspective on life, things really begin to change and your life can really be transformed.

Don’t forget though…at some point we have to climb back down the ladder. At some point the plane has to land. We have step back into the first person perspective of life and work hard to make the changes and choices each and every day that will get us where we want to be.

The view is pretty on the rooftop, but the work gets done on the ground floor.

The challenge for both of us today is to get on the rooftop of our lives. To step back and view life from a different perspective. To dream and look towards the future and see if what’s going on around you is going to get you to where you want to be in life. Then to climb back down and get to work.

Let’s do it.

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