A Fresh Perspective

perception, blessings, thankfulnessThese days I make it a habit to stop by my favorite coffee shop at least once a week on my way to work.  The coffee is excellent, the service is friendly and I can pick up a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans while I am there.  For a coffee lover such as myself, it’s a great place to shop and that has as much to do with the product they sell as it does with the people who work there.

During my visit this past week, one of the regular employees opened the door for me as I entered the building.  As he opened the door he said, “Hey Matthew!” which was not only nice and appreciated but also quite surprising in that he remembered my name.  After I concluded my business at the counter I walked over to where he was working (he was in the process of roasting a fresh batch of beans which not only smelled amazing it was quite fascinating to watch) and struck up a conversation with him.

It turns out that he remembered me not only because I am a frequent customer but also because I drive my Mazda MX-5 Miata to work and he, being a fan who was thinking of purchasing one in the future, had noticed it.  Of course any time someone wants to talk cars I am more than happy to oblige in that conversation, being an enthusiast myself.  And the fact that this happened inside my favorite coffee shop with a fresh cup in my hand just made it all the better.  Here were two of my favorite things happening at the same time in the same place and I remember being very happy and thankful for the encounter.

We spoke for just a few minutes about the Miata and why he liked them and I have to say his enthusiasm was catching.  I walked back out to my car at the conclusion of the conversation with a big smile on my face, not only because I enjoyed the chat, but because it allowed me to see the Miata with a fresh perspective.  All of a sudden, I remembered all of the reasons that I had sought the Miata out and it was like I was sitting in it again for the first time and appreciating what a fun and and interesting car that it really is.  Seeing the car through someone else’s eyes and listening to their enthusiasm for it helped to rekindle my own.

Later that day, as I was thinking back on my experience, the Lord brought something to my mind.  It is part of our nature as human beings to take good things for granted once we become accustomed to them.  We do this not only to material possessions  (like I did with my car) but also to our relationships with the people around us.  And then there is that most important relationship, the one between us and God, that I fear we also tend to take for granted.

I know that I do, if I am not careful.  Unless I am vigilant I tend to take so many of the blessings in my life for granted and I know that it’s easy to just skim the surface of how awesome our God really is and all that He has done for us.  I know that unless I take the time to slow down and ask Him to give me a fresh perspective on who He is that I am likely to miss much of who He is and what He is doing.

For that reason, my prayer lately has been that God would allow my heart to grow and my spiritual eyesight to sharpen so that I might better perceive Him and His handiwork.  I want to know Him better and to be a better friend to Him because He has been such a great friend to me.  I can see how I was beginning to take some things for granted and I am so glad that God loves me enough to correct me and to show me a better way.

Sometimes, it takes an object lesson from life experience in order for God to teach us something.  Our responsibility is to be teachable and to be listening for when and how He speaks.  God is so amazing that He can use seemingly normal, everyday circumstances in order to reveal Himself to us.  My prayer is that we would be on the lookout for Him and be actively seeking to know Him better through it all.