Saturday, September 17, 2011

Perspective Does Make A Difference.

I Think We're Alone Now
The above photograph is titled “I Think We’re Alone Now””, taken by Lotus Carroll at the Hearst Mining building at the University of California, Berkeley.  All rights belong to Ms. Carroll.  I borrowed this from her Flickr site under the provisions allowed there.  I first saw this when she posted it on Google+.  I then reshared it with the comment that created today’s title.

Take a look at the picture.  The lights, the floors, the railings all form straight lines contrasting with the arches on either side and overhead.  Those straight lines compel you to focus on the three doors at the other end of the room.  You just sense that there’s something important behind one or more of those doors.  And what that might be is still a mystery.  That evokes a series of possibilities of stories coming out of that picture.  But suppose Lotus had taken this picture from a different vantage point.  How would that affect how the picture speaks to the viewer?

The same building photographed from a different vantage point could create an image just as intriguing.  But the relationships and focus would be very different.  And that’s my point.  With life, just like photography, perspective does make a difference.  Let me illustrate.

One of my all time favorite Bible verses is Matthew 6:33, which says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.“  In short, focus on God and the things of God and your needs will be met.  If you don’t have a relationship with God or at least not the kind of relationship that focuses on the reality of that verse, then your focus has to be elsewhere.  Because you’re going to be striving to meet all those needs yourself, probably mistaking some of your wants as needs, and taking on more responsibility for the results than you really need to.

Perspective.  If yours comes from a vantage point that sees no God, then all it will see is you.  Behind one of those doors at the end of the room lies great things.  But also at great cost.  You are responsible for all of your success or failure.  You have to create the plan, implement it, then reap the results.  You may have friends, spouse, lover, whatever.  But you’re the only one who can completely shoulder each of those steps.  Quite a burden.

Perspective.  If you’ve accepted a relationship with God, but believe He expects you to perform at some level in order to benefit from His blessing, you’re almost at the same point as someone who doesn’t have a relationship with God.  The Apostle Paul tells us, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.“  That’s Romans 7:18.  When we do things from who we are, we take on the responsibility for the plan, the execution and the failed results.  And you face those doors at the end of the room with fear and misgivings.  Because you function out of you being in control.  That’s not what God wants.

Perspective.  You have that relationship with God, you trust Him for the plan, you trust Him for the execution by Him in you, and you trust Him for the results.  Because you trust Him for all that, you can look at the doors at the other end of the room with excitement.  No matter what the results are, behind those doors you know you’ll find something of benefit.  That’s what God does.  He takes any kind of results and molds it so that it somehow benefits you.  And how do you gain that perspective?  Simple.  By four steps:
  1. Accept a relationship with God in your life,
  2. Love God,
  3. Love yourself and others,
  4. Keep those in that order.
The first step is # 1.  John 14:6 tells us the only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ.  If you don’t know how to do that, contact me here.  Or, better, if there’s a good Bible oriented church near you, contact the pastor.  He’ll be happy to guide you into a relationship with God.  Once you have that relationship with God, the other three steps will follow because you really do have that relationship.  Yes, sometimes it’ll seem more like bread and water instead of lobster, steak and Cadillacs.  But, as your relationship grows, you’ll see how God uses everything in your life to bring you closer to Him.  And each thing in your life will give you a new opportunity to experience a greater level of joy and peace by trusting Him.

So, how are you adjusting your perspective?

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