I have just returned from paradise. Not the one in Wise County, Texas, although it is a place I frequent. No, Mrs. Sweetie and I just celebrated 30 years of marriage with 6 days at an amazing all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Our 30th anniversary was last July, but this was the time we could do the trip.
I won’t subject you to the narrative of our trip (but there are pictures on Facebook). However, I will let you know that the normal stuff of life that you do at home just moves to a whole new level of awesomeness when you have the sight, sound, smell, and feel of the Caribbean Sea in the background. And with year-round temperatures ranging from mid-60’s to mid-80’s, was it a good place to be in January? Yah, mon!
“Jamaica, no problem! No problem, Jamaica!” This is what one of our excursion guides told us. She said that in Jamaica, they don’t have problems; they only have “situations.” You know what I thought when I heard that? I thought, “That’ll preach!” Or, as my life works more now, “that’ll blog … columnize” … you get the point!
What if we saw “situations” instead of “problems?” What’s the difference? Glad you asked! I think it is simply perspective. A “problem” lends itself to anxiety. A “situation” lends itself to strategy. A “problem” can lend itself to passivity and even blame-casting (Who got us into this mess?). A “situation” can lend itself to active team work (Here’s where we are; let’s work this out together.). Maybe it’s semantics, but it works for me.
Proverbs 10:12 (New International Version) says, “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” I gained a new perspective recently on this verse. It has to do with the words “covers over.” Why cover “over” instead of cover “up?” Here’s my imagery. To “cover up” all wrongs would be to attempt to hide them; like building a tall wall so that they cannot be seen. Let’s get this “problem” out of sight! It may continue to smolder behind the scenes, but at least we keep a façade of control.
I think most people are weary of “cover ups.”
To “cover over” all wrongs would be more like wrapping them in a blanket of love that smothers out the “situation.” Let’s not hide it. Let’s wrap it in active love until the embers are out. Let’s act in integrity and grace to affect this situation for good. And let’s not give up until the job is done.
Our lives matter so much to God that He wants us to find Him in every situation. Philippians 4:12-13 (New Living Translation) says, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Yah, mon! No problem! It’s Irie!
Even when it’s not paradise.
Can you think of a current problem that you need to re-frame as a situation? What would be the first step?
Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your perspective.