Through The Power of a Grace Perspective, you can forget your regrets of what lies behind, as your past will not be fatal, and reach forward to what lies ahead, as your future will never be final. God is with us always even to the end of timeand through his grace we can experience a perspective of unlimited possibilities.
Each time that I tell the story of my brush with death, listeners always respond immediately in the same way: “Oh my God, that must have been terrible,” or “You’ll probably want to forget about that, now that it’s behind you.” Can you imagine their reaction when I respond by saying, “Actually, it was the most wonderful experience of my life, and if I could return to change any part of it, I would change none of it!” After that answer, I can guarantee that most people are probably thinking: This guy must be an order of fries short of a value pack meal, but that is to be expected. I can very easily describe the events of what happened to me in April and May of 2005; however, equally difficult to describe are the experiences. To that end, when I tell my story, I only focus on what is easy to describe and do not wax philosophical. I reserve that luxury for the context of this book!
So what was so wonderful about my experiences that I would not change a single part of it? The explanation refers to the Ursula K. Le Guin quote that I mentioned at the end of chapter three,
“It is good to have an end to journey toward,
But it is the journey that matters in the end.”
Whenever I read this quote, I sense that what Ms. Le Guin may have meant when she said “but it is the journey that matters in the end” is that not only our journey but our perspective of the journey matters as well.
Consider my perspective of the events and experiences that I have described in this book if I had an identity that accentuated only the negative aspects of the events rather than the positive experiences during my illness, surgery, and recovery. I might more aptly have titled this book something like “The Pitfalls of Unhealthy Habits and the Shortcomings of the American Healthcare System.” The power of a grace perspective allows us to view events and experiences with the ability to forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead. The age-old adages of seeing a glass half empty or half full, being unable to see the forest for the trees, or looking for the silver lining in a dark cloud all apply to the same concept of the power of a grace perspective.
God gives us the free will to make our own decisions. Invoking free will in the decision-making process also leaves us in control of the perspective gained from the events and experiences that result from our free-will decisions. Finally, the aspects of the results on which we chose to focus determine whether our perspective will indeed be a glass half empty or a glass half full.
I could very easily have taken a woe-is-me perspective from my experiences in the hospital and during convalescence. That view, however, would have been an affront to God after all that he did for me. How could I diminish to a mere happenstance of events the string of miracles, his presence when I awoke, his assurance that I was not alone, the dreams he sent, and the courage that he gave me to overcome all the molehills that became mountains?
What I did, not what God dictated, resulted in the dire circumstances that led to my hospitalization and nearly dying three times. My bad decisions over a lifetime put me into the situation from which God’s grace delivered me. However, I am still in charge of the perspective that I took from this experience. I could say either, “Woe is me,” or “I am blessed.” I picked the latter.
Have I ever had a woe-is-me perspective? Absolutely – at one period in my life when I was transitioning from my balance sheet upbringing and I still carried the baggage of a glass-half-empty perspective, cynicism and arrogance ruled my attitudes. The churches that I was forced to attend made me very cynical about the empirical importance of God. To me, if God and the church were so narrow minded that only seven hundred out of six and a half billion souls would go to heaven in the rapture, I could find little to no solace in believing that God cared about the remaining 6,499,999,300 of us. This cynicism led to the arrogant conclusion that I did not need God and that I could fend for myself. After all, in spite of how little he cared about me, at least he did give me a brain that I could use, and I would rely more on my abilities than God’s grace.
Thankfully, my cynicism and arrogance did not hinder God’s unconditional love and the availability of his grace when I was ready to receive it. As I matured (at least I hope that I have), my cynicism about God and my arrogance towards him began to wane. Brief snippets of grace would permeate random thoughts, and I started to see a side of God that had no balance sheet attached.
Professional Reviews Highly Recommend
One of the most moving books I’ve ever read. A true story of one man’s life events that set him on a path to find out how important God is in his life. From a wild teenager and young adult, through troubles with alcohol addiction,divorce,and a near death experience, the writer turns to God and accepts his grace to overcome.
A Book You Cannot Put Down
A well written journey with the author from childhood through success in the business world. Reaching life’s limit he finds the grace of God, and an amazing grace perspective. I felt a part of the story and the experiences came alive with the author’s use of detail and gift of words as he shared emotions, revelations,his family, and the miracles in his life. An important message for all to hear. A very enjoyable book and good read.
This book is very well written. I couldn’t put it down!! Very inspirational. I am looking forward to the next book by Paul Ulasien.