Perspective. It is a word I came to know very well when I was much younger. In fact I was just a little girl when I first heard this word. I'm taken back to elementary school. I'm taken back to art class. I would spend hours and hours drawing and coloring on blank paper. I took great pleasure in watching lines and colors bring to life what I could see in my head.
My doodles caught the eye of my teachers and eventually I was taken under the wing of the resident art teacher. She taught me to look at the world around me differently. I learned how to notice light and shadow. I learned how notice that things closer to me were bigger than things further away.
And my father, a talented architect, shared with me the books he had studied when he was in university. I spent hours drawing and I loved it. My mother still has some of my old drawings. Today, I can draw anything if I so wished it. An ability I have been told that I should nurture. Perhaps one day I will get back to practicing again.
Perspective was, for me, just a tool to better improve my drawing skills. In university I continued my training and learned that everything we see has perspective. I learned that everything has a horizon and a vanishing point.
Once I understood this I began adding light and shadow for more depth. And I learned that everything, even the colors we see, are affected by the horizon and vanishing point.
But even if you have never drawn a day in your life you are experienced in perspective. From the moment we are capable of making our own choices we have been experimenting with the concept. Not only is it possible to recognize perspective in the physical world, it is possible to know it in the reality of our thoughts. We can see it in our actions and the actions others make.
In a similar manner we can recognize it by learning about choices. Which brings me to the Bible. So much of my perspective in life has been shaped by what I have read in its pages. What have I learned? I have learned about good and bad choices. Not just by being told about them but by being given examples. By learning about the choices and actions Jesus made, God has effectively drawn and colored my heart and mind.
His work in me is not yet complete. Just as it is still continuing in you. Which brings me to the current state of the countries around the world. So many people feel insignificant and helpless to create much positive change. So many people feel entitled to whatever and whomever they wish without putting forth any effort.
It takes effort to look at your own life from a different perspective. It is made even more difficult when you are in the midst of suffering. The pressures of life weigh heavy on many hearts and minds. And some Christians wonder how simply reading the Bible could change anything. It is true that by reading God's word your circumstances might not change.
But the purpose of the Bible is not to change those things so much as it changes you. More to the point, the Bible changes your perspective on everything. And it always starts with how you view yourself. This was perhaps the greatest lesson Jesus taught. Life is not just about oneself.
We are all part of a much grander reality. Each of us, no matter how "insignificant" we might seem, have a purpose. Life as we currently know it is only the beginning!
Jesus knew it was imperative that people see less of themselves and more of others. He also knew that we could never do this in our own strength. We needed God's help. So Jesus ensured on the cross that anyone who wished could know God and learn from Him. And it no longer mattered that we didn't have the strength in us.
God has changed my mind on so many things! I used to believe that my body was my own. I mean we even train our minds to say: " My hand, my head, my face etc." We train our minds to tell us that things we work for belong to us. And in a sense these things are true but God has reminded me that I did not create my own health. I did not create my own body. I did not create the people who have taught me, raised me, given me jobs.
Who created these things? God. So is it not logical to assume that if everything I have and am was created by Him, then He has the right to take it all back? What about when bad things happen to me? Should I just accept this and be happy? I don't believe God wants us to be fake. Even Jesus wrestled with God's will for Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.
And now I come to the point I have been waiting to make in this post. There will be times when we will question God. There will be times when we might even be angry with Him. I can tell you from reading the Bible that we would not be the only ones. It has happened before. Many times. The key is trusting what we know about God's character.
When we can't see past our own perspectives we must continue on with faith in who God is and what He is capable of doing. In fact those are the times I find it most beneficial in studying God's character from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible is waiting to change hearts and minds. The truth about who we are and how significant we are is right there in its pages!
Perspective. I am a sinner, weak in mind and character. But because I accepted Jesus Christ's love for me on the cross I can call upon God's wisdom and strength to become who I was created to be. I can't see how my life fits in the grander drawing but I know that I am a crucial line in forming it. And so are you. Will you allow God to reveal new perspectives of your life?
" Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely."
~ I Corinthians 13:12