Have you ever looked back on a stressful time in your life and wondered why you were filled with worry? Today, you realize the problem that consumed you was nothing more than a momentary challenge. But at the time . . . well, that’s a different story. In the middle of negotiating a trying time, we struggle from our limited vantage point and can easily lose perspective.
Inside the Storm
One cold winter evening, I was heading home from work when I drove into an unexpected snowstorm. It was dark and the snow was coming down so hard it was difficult to see too far ahead. Driving on icy roads terrifies me. As the road turned white, I freaked out.
I was twenty-five miles away. In a panic, I called my husband. He assured me the storm was just a tiny blip on the radar. If I kept moving forward, I’d drive right out of it. The roads leading home were fine.
But there in the storm, my mind jumped to the worst possible scenarios. I could have an accident, get stuck in the snow, or spend the night in a cold car. I might even freeze to death.
It took my husband’s out-of-storm perspective and reassurance that everything would be okay to calm me down. Sure enough, another two miles up the road and there were no more snowflakes in front of the headlights.
Lack of Clarity
Like the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. But smack dab in the middle, all we perceive is the mess. We twist ourselves out of shape thinking about the horrible what-ifs and lose perspective. With those blinders on, we’re prevented from seeing the bigger picture.
Every situation is different and some challenges take significant strength to see ourselves through. But the large majority of our daily worries and stresses are trivial.
Put the Challenge in Perspective
I had an older, much wiser neighbor many years ago who challenged my thinking a bit. When she saw me fretting over the silliest of things (which I thought were big things), she asked, “Will it matter ten years from now?” And of course, none of it did.
If you’re currently in the midst of your own storm and find it hard to see, take heart. Then, take a deep breath or two.
Yes, it’s frightening when the snow suddenly falls heavy and the blacktop disappears. It’s easy to lose our way. But in the span of our lifetime, remember, most of our momentary problems are nothing more than a blip on the radar.
I pass along to you the words my husband shared with me that snowy night. Just keep moving forward. Before you know it, you’ll drive right out of it.