We picked a movie. We had our tickets. We had our seats. And I was already digging into a fresh box of chocolate covered raisins. Now that’s what I call a Sunday night.
The lights dimmed, the previews came and went, and we finally settled into the latest blockbuster flick. And then the power went out. There wasn’t a flickering of lights or even a warning. For a split-second, I thought the blackened screen was a part of the movie itself…but then the movie never moved forward. It was frozen on a blank screen.
The emergency lights were lit, but everything else remained pitch black. As if on cue, a sea of iPhone lights began to flood the theater, interspersed with a few iPhone flashlights. Several what seemed like super long minutes passed by, and then the voices started.
Someone call the theater.
Why is this taking so long?
I’d better get a refund.
Will someone start the movie already?!
More minutes ticked by.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
With a sudden flash, we were back in business. The movie picked up right where we left off. But we were missing one key element: sound.
Cue the voices again.
Helloooo…we need sound!
Someone fix this already!
This is unbelievable.
And along with the sea of comments came silly interpretations of what the characters were saying and groups of movie goers who, fed up with the situation, just got up and left.
In a matter of minutes, the sound too returned and we finished the movie without missing a beat. We even received free movie tickets for the inconvenience…and walked outside to a breezy 79 degree Nevada night. For my fellow desert dwellers out there, you know that monsoon season has its upside!
Now this is a great story and all, and I’m sure many of you are wondering why I’ve even rambled on about it in the first place. No, my point wasn’t to simply blurt out my movie going experience for the world to hear. My point centers around the word perspective.
The series of events described above literally took place within the timeframe of 10 minutes. In that short window, a group of people quickly passed through the emotional stages of excitement and anticipation to be hanging out on a Sunday night, to anger and rage towards a movie theater who can’t control whether the desert monsoon season decides to send massive lighting bolts its way or not.
In the midst of the chaos, I looked at my friend and we both couldn’t help but laugh. People’s responses were hilariously appalling…and honestly, kind of sad. And then it dawned on me how strong our perspective truly is. How we think about the circumstances around us has the power to shape them both for the positive or the negative.
For the movie goers who viewed the slight setback as a problem, the entire experience was ruined…and brought out a side of anger towards others that just wasn’t even necessary.
For the movie goers who saw the power outage as an opportunity to think about cooler weather outside and a break from the 100+ degree Nevada surges, the experience was a win-win. We were able to finish the movie we intended to see, receive free movie tickets to come back another time, AND walked outside to a gorgeous night!
We were all sitting in the same theater with the same set of circumstances. Yet two completely different experiences took place. And it all stemmed from our perspective…our vantage point…our attitude…our thoughts.
I love how Philippians 4:8-9 guides us: “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
Tonight, I’m wrestling with this question: how does my perspective guide and shape my circumstances?