Saturday, October 23, 2010

Putting Things in Perspective

Those of us in the northern hemisphere are about to head into the time of year where the weather can be stormy.  I was thinking the other day about how this can translate into what we experience while riding on two wheels and being exposed to the elements.

While riding, at any given time we're either in a storm, we've just come out of a storm, or we're about to head into a storm.  And so it is with life isn't it?  With the storms of life we are in one of these three positions.

Each Wednesday during the lunch hour there's a meeting held in one of the buildings along the Park Blocks which is near Portland State University.  It's called the Downtown Bible Class and is well attended by people from all walks of life including students.  I try to go when I'm downtown and don't have something pressing with work.  Not only is it interesting to go for the teaching but it's a great place to meet people.

This past Wednesday after grabbing a bagel and cup of water I sat down at an empty table to see what new adventure might happen.  Within a few minutes a well dressed man sat down at the table a couple of chairs away.  As we made the usual small talk about how often we come to the class and what we do for a living, he said he was just laid off from his job the day before.  He was in the financial industry and his sales were not meeting the expectations of the company.  He's been laid off before so he said that he's preparing for "What's to come."

I thought a lot about him the rest of the day.  I still wonder how he and his wife are coping with the jolt to their lives.

These life experiences tend to put things into perspective don't they?  You know how it is.  Sometimes you find yourself complaining about a cold or aches and pains then you see someone in a wheelchair or a blind person.  Or you complain about something at work then you meet a person who's just lost their job. 

Once and awhile I think my riding skills are beginning to come together and my confidence gets a little distorted.  Then I either read or hear about a bad accident which puts things in perspective again.

If we're not in a storm we can be sure that one will come.  Life is a series of storms and there are no guarantees in this world.  I purposely said, "In this world".  There are guarantees and when we find them they do help put life in the proper perspective. 

God's speed.


  1. Nice post Mike. We think along the same lines but being an (almost) eternal optimist, I tend to view life as a series of tranquil priods, only periodically interrupted by storms. I think some of the storms are almost reminders not to get too complacent which I think closely parallel your "no guarantees" scenario. And yes, they definitely put things into perspective.

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  3. I hate when that happens - I used the wrong login!

    Well said Geoff. It's interesting how just at the right time we get a "course correction" that shines a light on an area needing adjustment. Thank you!

  4. Mike:

    sometimes you don't appreciate what you have until you you lose it. We often take things for granted like we believe that everyone has access to the same things.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  5. Awesome post Mike. Love those shots of your bike. I'm praying for that man and his wife who lost their job. And it's so true - we think WE have it bad - but we can always find someone who has it much, much worse.

  6. Bobskoot,
    You are so right. Taking things for granted and believing that eveyone has access to the same things are a common pitfall. I often falsely assume that on the point about same access. Thank you!

    That's so true about always finding someone who has it much worse. It's interesting how we're generally pointed to someone like that at the appropriate time and many times they're in that condition through no fault of their own. Thank you!

  7. Ah storms...I'm considering what storms are in store for me today. What's going to happen between here and my destination. Fortunately they are storms of the rain/wind variety only. Other storms seem calm for now.

    My best wishes for the man who you met, who is dealing with his own storm right now.

  8. I have gone through loosing a job 2 times already and they happened just after I had bought a new house. I survived both storms, sometimes it takes a storm to make you change course for the better. I complain about my job but then I think how lucky I am to just have a job since some of my friends are out of work. Best wishes to the man you met.

  9. Kari,
    It was pretty stormy (weather-wise) today. If you rode today it must have been interesting with the mixed bag we had. I drove to Eugene today instead of riding. I'm glad your other storms are calm. Thank you!

    I'm sorry that you've gone through losing your job twice but that's great that you've survived! Well said about the change in course for the better and having gratitude. Both good points. Thank you!

  10. There's a lot to worry about out there. I hope that guy is doing alright, also. I may feel ready for a career change sometimes, but now sure isn't the time to seek it out. I hope your weather is tolerable during the -er and -ary months. I'm going to ride as long as I eventually,, will be outdone by the cold.

  11. Brady,
    Thank you for your comment and for stopping by. I agree that these times are not too stable for a career change. Speaking of unstable, the other day we had rain, hail, wind, and sun. It was a mixed bag. This winter is suppose to be rough but we'll see. Ride safe!

  12. Thanks Mike. I've found in life that no matter what problem we face...there is always someone who has it worse.

  13. Eve,
    That is true. And I'm usually made aware of that fact at just the right time. Thank you.