So God and I have been having regular conversations about perspective lately. Seems to go with our theme here since perspective has to do with seeing, doesn’t it?
I’ve recently read about perspective in at least three books, it’s been focus of several of my Daily Bible Verses over the past few weeks and it just plain pops up everywhere I turn. Actually, yesterday it made appearances in two separate conversations. And I wasn’t even the one who mentioned it. I’m beginning to think that perspective, not the Hokey Pokey, is really what it’s all about!
Think about the meaning of perspective for a second: a particular evaluation of a situation or facts, especially from one person’s point of view; a measured or objective assessment of a situation, giving all aspects their comparative importance. Or simply put, one’s outlook, point of view, or perception. Now why would this be so important to us? Well, we’ve already established that we were created for relationship (see it here). We are not meant to live alone without contact with others. And if we want to live a life of meaning, it will require us to regularly check our perspective. We cannot live in a bubble and fully understand the world around us. We must adjust our viewpoint. When we don’t understand a situation it might help to look at it from another angle.
I also think it’s easy to accept the false idea that the way we see things is always reality. It’s not. It’s only our current perception of reality. I’ve always been drawn to the saying about “walking a mile in another person’s shoes”. One of the first Bible verses I memorized as a child was “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Granted I tried to tag that with my own interpretation by saying things like, “Well, she was mean to me so I guess that’s the way she wants to be treated, right?” How silly! But I don’t have the excuse of being six years old anymore (Oh I am so far away from six it isn’t even funny!). So why do I forget to consider how another people are feeling, what they may be going through, or what has brought them to this point? I need to share their perspective to understand. What I’m really seeing may not be what I think I see…
That nasty person behind the counter could be worried sick about a critically ill loved one and can’t be with them for fear of losing their minimum wage job. The homeless man sitting on the street corner may be a veteran who simply didn’t know how to fill out the right forms and sadly fell through the proverbial cracks. The kid who destroyed your mailbox as a prank may be dying inside because his parents are so wrapped up in their own problems they don’t even see him anymore. We will never know unless we exchange our perspective for theirs.
Then there’s the aspect of perspective as it pertains to God. Think about this – what’s an 80-year lifespan compared to eternity? (James 4:14) What about our annual income compared to God’s bank account? (Deuteronomy 10:14) Or our inconveniences compared to what God gave up? (John 3:16) How about the way we see others and the way God sees them? (Romans 5:8; James 2:5) We need to share God’s perspective. We need to ask Him to show us what He sees and be willing to put hands and feet into action.
Come to think of it, maybe it does have something to do with the Hokey Pokey after all…put your right hand in, take your right hand out…put your left hand in, take your left hand out…put your right foot in, take your right foot out…put your left foot in, take your left foot out…If where we put our hands and feet is in God’s work then, “DO THE HOKEY POKEY AND TURN YOURSELF AROUND” and proudly proclaim, “That’s what it’s all about!”