On a recent trip to Nashville, Tennessee I had the opportunity to tour Fontanel, the former home of Barbara Madrell. Depending on your age you are either thinking “Who is she?” or “Can I eat Crackers in my bed?” She was a country singer, song writer, musician – a very talented lady! When I was a little girl, six or seven, I remember sitting with my mom watching Barbara Madrell and the Madrell sisters on TV. It was a variety type show. My mom loved it.
Fontanel, is a 27,000 square foot log cabin nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of Whites Creek Valley, just outside of Nashville! It has 20 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, an indoor pool, a large great room, an indoor shooting range, and much more.
While taking the tour we heard about how Barbara’s husband, who was also the builder of the cabin, found the land they called Fontanel while flying his helicopter. He viewed the land they fell in love with from the air. Now, I have only been in a helicopter once (another story for another time) and let me tell you, you can see for miles. Being up in the air in a helicopter is a different feeling than an airplane. It is slower, moves differently, and the view of the ground is fantastic. I can only imagine how beautiful the Fontanel property would have looked like from 500-1000 feet about the ground.
After the tour I was sitting around with other ministry leaders and we began to discuss what we noticed and learned on our tour. This point stuck out to me . . .what if we looked at our situations (in ministry and life) from an areal view, 500 feet in the air looking down? What would we see? I’m not sure if the Mandrell’s had walked up the hills on that property they would have seen all its possible.
In ministry and in family life we can be so busy, focused, or even overwhelmed that we often look at many situations from the ground level. Sunday to Sunday. One sports season to the next sports season. What would happen if we stepped back and looked at life, our calendar, our passions, different types of situations, from a more broad perspective? Would we make different decisions? Would it give us a new perspective?
The way I have best lived this out in my life is with the passing of my parents. As I walked through the pain of loss and grief, I often felt like I was walking through the forest. I was looking at everything from a ground level perspective. I was walking right by the refreshing waters or a place to rest, I was lost, I could not see those needed places through the trees. Once I could navigate life from a 500 foot perspective, I could see where I could rest, where the healing waters ran, and found a place to plant. It didn’t change my pain, it just changed how I processed it.
I would encourage you today to get above the trees. Find sometime to look at your ministry, family, and life from 500 feet. My prayer is that as you get above the situations in life, the Lord would show you his perspective and he would lead you to those perfect places.