October 26, 2008

eyes of hope

If you've ever had a regular job, you know that gossip is par for the course. Indeed, I've never had to pay a coworker to give me information about a supervisor. Coworkers have their hobby horses which seem never to go out to pasture. Even between people who work closely, there is bitterness and anger. To someone who wants to follow the royal law of Scripture, this is a challenge.

While I don't want to be too specific about my current situation, like most jobs, there is some discontent among the employees. Both fact and fiction are tossed around the room in the supervisor's absence. If what others sometimes insinuate were true, I would have a petty, unfair boss. When others gossip about my boss, whom God says I am to respect, I have had to try to learn to keep hope in view. Above the haze, I have found a boss who is calm, patient and has a good sense of humour. He is a good teacher and a manager who rewards good work and shows grace. In fact, I've even like working for him. Imagine that!

How can my coworkers and I describe the same man in such disparate ways? Are we really talking about the same man? How often are our circumstances shaped by the perspective we have chosen? I work for a kind boss, they work for a "lazy" one. We work for the same man, but "love always hopes."

Joining in slander is like agreeing to live in a pit of vipers. Bad-mouthers feed one another's discontent and dissension. Why would I align myself with such base behaviour? Not only does it set a negative tone to my life, but I could just as easily be the next smack-talk target. Through this situation, the Lord is teaching me to look up, in hope, and to expect the best. I don't have to live in the pit. "Set your mind on things above, where Christ is seated." He keeps me singing.

While we can't always choose our circumstances in life, we can choose hope. While "detail work" is also needed, sometimes I need to step back and think about "whatever is true" (Phil. 4:8). I need...
To appreciate the godly qualities in my friends' lives, instead of judging them for their shortfalls.
To see the dishes that got washed, and not the ones that got left in the sink.
To dismiss a small frustration with the body of Christ, and count my many blessings.
To choose to live with hope.
To forgive as I've been forgiven.
To refuse to lie down in the mess made by gossip.
To be raised up by Truth.
To live with the big picture in mind.
To choose a divine viewpoint.

That's choosing to see life through eyes of hope.

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