I recently read (and I can’t for the life of me remember where or who said it) something to this effect: For every person there is an ‘it’ that divides their lives. We think of who we were before ‘it’ and after ‘it’.
‘It’ comes then to define us. ‘It’ may be meeting your spouse or divorcing your spouse, it may be the birth of a child or the loss of a child, it may be something joyous or something traumatic, but it becomes the lens through which we see ourselves and our lives.
We speak of those who go through life with ‘rose colored glasses’. That is, they have a cheery disposition or outlook no matter what is coming their way. There are those who go through life with the opposite perspective. They possess ‘dark colored glasses’. Someone hurt me, someone used me, something happened that disappointed me and changed the way I view life. I don’t trust people anymore. How can I enjoy life when this thing happened to me?
So, what is the ‘it’, what is the ‘something’ that has divided your life? To ask it another way, as you think back on all the days of your life what is the most significant event of your life? If you are a Christian I know what it ought to be. In fact, I know what ‘it’ is. The most significant event in your life is that God came into this world and took on human flesh for you. The most significant thing in all the world is that He died for you and rose for you and ascended into heaven for you and intercedes for you and one day will return to take you unto Himself forever. No joy or trauma can compete with those simple facts. When that event becomes, in a felt sense, ‘the event’ of life, we live with the eternal perspective that changes everything. When Paul spoke of the trials of this life being essentially ‘nothing’ (not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us, momentary and light), he was not saying that they were not significant or that they did not hurt. He is saying simply in comparison they have no weight. A person may be fast but in comparison to a supersonic jet they have no speed at all. What are 200 lashes in comparison to the glory to be revealed in us? What is shipwreck, and stoning, and robbery in comparison to the Son of God loving me and giving Himself for me? What is human disappointment in comparison to divine faithfulness?
As you look through your life is there something that dampens all your joys or is that there something that sooths all your sorrows? What is ‘it’ for you?