I watched as a flock of cockatoos flew overhead of our campsite in a small, rural Queensland town.
One can't just watch them.
You have to listen to these clusters of cockatoos as they screech their way across the sky.
These birds, very beautiful to look at but wildly loud, got me thinking about how a lot of life is a matter of perspective.
For many, the cockatoos are a nuisance. A pest.
Farmers have been known to shoot cockatoos - even though it's against the law - because the flock of birds will nibble away at crops. The birds even gnaw their way around fence posts.
On this side of the world a cockatoo is a pain. Yet in Canada, and much of North American, people spend thousands of dollars to keep this bird as a pet.
Really, many of the circumstances or situations we face in life are much like this. We can choose to look at something as a pain and try to get rid of it, or embrace it and allow the situation to improve, stretch or grow us. The book of James tells us how we should respond to hardship:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
This reminds me to be grateful for challenges, because in the end hard times produce softer people.
I want my perspective on life to be open to the different circumstances that come my way, knowing that they all shape me towards the woman I'm meant to be.