I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose. When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.
Those of you who have been following my blogs know that I often mention Fr. Frank. He is one of the priests at my local parish. Very often Fr. Frank’s sermons seem to speak directly to my soul and this Sunday was no exception.
Fr. Frank told the story of a young boy who was a huge Brooklyn Dodgers fan. One day his father surprised him with tickets to the World Series. The game was between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The boy was thrilled and couldn’t wait until the big day.
When the day finally arrived, he was extremely excited. However, that excitement soon faded. Inning and after inning, three Dodgers would come to bat, and all three would make an out. He waited and waited to at least see somebody make it to first base. He thought once that first hit would come, more would follow and the Dodgers would finally score some runs. But unfortunately for him, those runs never came. In fact, not even a single hit or even walk ever came.
That was October 8, 1956. Don Larsen of the New York Yankees had just pitched the sixth perfect game in major league baseball history and the only one of the post season. It was game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers and ended in a score of 2-0.
Afterwards and years later when people heard that he was present at this historic game, they would say things like, “OH WOW, you were at that game?!” Fr. Frank’s point was that this boy was so focused on the negative (the fact that his favorite team did not score) that he couldn’t see the bigger picture (the fact that he witnessed one of the most monumental moments in baseball history).
As I sat there in the pew, I couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement. Fr. Frank went on to talk about how sometimes we are so focused on the negatives that we don’t realize the good or the purpose behind something. He spoke of how we sometimes get so upset when friends don’t react the way that we expect them to or when things just don’t turn out the way that we expect without ever considering that there may be a reason. He spoke of Jesus’ Apostles and how they were, of course, upset about His crucifixion but didn’t realize that they were part of something so much bigger. Three days later, they witnessed His resurrection.
The Apostles spent a lot of time with Jesus; they left their jobs and families to travel with Him. They did not expect that things would end the way that they did. They did not expect Jesus to die and leave them. But the resurrection of Christ changed all that. They realized that it was not over. Jesus was still there for them. They were not abandoned.
Very often we are so focused on the pain or what we perceive as a misfortune in our lives that we fail to see the bigger picture. We fail to understand that we may actually be a witness to something far greater in our lives.
When I was a little girl, I also failed to see the bigger picture. True, I was extremely fortunate to have only a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. True, I spent time in a wheelchair and learned how to walk with leg braces. True, I didn’t always want to be that little girl looking back at me in the mirror. But at the time, I was missing the bigger picture.
I’ve come to realize that my life turned out exactly as it was supposed to. Had I not had all of my experiences (both negative and positive), I would not be the person that I am today. Had I not had my experiences, I would not have written my books. I would not have been able to help others as much as I have.
Now, looking back and realizing the bigger picture, I would not change a thing.
Think about the more trying times in your life. Maybe you lost a job, or a relationship ended. Maybe you have struggled with addiction or abuse. Perhaps you are still trying to come to grips with these or any number of other things that life has hurled at you.
Did you end up getting a better job? Or were you just happier without it? Did you end up in a new, more fulfilling relationship? Did you end up breaking free of your addiction or abusive situation? Sometimes it takes a while to finally see the bigger picture. Sometimes it takes reaching an extreme low to make you realize your strengths and build yourself back up to greater and better things.
As you look back at your life, you will see that some failures were opportunities in disguise. You will see that some disappointments were actually blessings. You will also see the bigger picture that got you exactly where you are today.