When I think of subjective words that drive me crazy, perspective comes to mind. By itself, I savor the word; universally, however, the word has grown cliché, culturally costumed to fit the individual more so than any other entity. And though I don't seek to undermine personal relevancy, we must not let the 'self' take away from its ideal meaning: true understanding proportionate to importance. What's important may vary from person to person, but perspective always bridges the gap between perception and reality. If perspective acted as a device, it would stretch, connect, filter and process our daily perspicacity to produce a quality output, aligning to absolute truth.
Now that I have gotten the mumbo-jumbo out of the way, I can clarify the past five sentences with a testimony.
In recent weeks, my big-picture perspective has benefited from various experiences, some inspiring, and others discouraging. On the plus side, I’ve endured some major rejuvenation by means of stepping out of my comfort zone and persevering through intimidating circumstances. Conversely, I've had to face a few prickly pears, testings on minor scales and setbacks brushed by disappointments.
One particular low came the night prior to departing for The Gate Alabama tornado outreach, when I came face-to-face with a challenge. On the heels of failing my first attempt on the P/1 exam, God specifically told me to go down to Alabama and, "live and serve as if I had passed." Thus, the biggest test lied before me. I could have caved in and adamantly turned away. But I made the decision before stepping out the door that I was going to pass the test. I had to believe God had my best in mind (one of the more underrated definitions of hope), and that the best would happen.
Driving down to Huntsville, I felt mired in a “0-2” hole, but God, in his grace and sustainability, helped me connect to his perfect mission. So when the time came to break down oaks in sweltering heat, my spirit soared like a ball destined for the outfield bleachers. And as I re-entered Tennessee territory, my perspective had finished rounding the bases. All I had to do was stick to the Father’s game-plan.
Our thoughts, words, aspirations and goals must constantly riddle through God’s flawless strainer. If we separate our natural inklings, then we inevitably discover how pathetic our brain waves can be. We classify people by numbers – amount and quality of talent, income and knowledge gross. Even more ominously, we make critical judgments based on imaginations and assumptions. We desire to be seen as real, but make daily decisions rooted in what is anything but that. We begin to forget where we’re going and why it’s important to go there. In no time, a cloudy haze caps our ability to adequately define “worthwhile", before we're struck by a tornado of another nature.
Are we out for God’s glory or our own? Maybe fame isn’t on the ambition list, but what about respect? Say we focus on what we feel allows our true identity to shine, but if it bounces for being alien to God, does it really count? Does the feeling of getting ahead financially, love by a soulmate, abiding by self-installed order and false peace satisfy our depths at day’s end?
Standing at ground zero surrounded by EF-5 tornado damage - amidst a landscape of hope and grief - this light bulb went off. Why do I become so sucked into my own vortex of narrow-mindedness? I mean I can become easily swept into striving mode. But for what? To accomplish a worthy goal to find esteem in the eyes of others? Do I really think that's going to produce a lasting peace? Besides, this has nothing to do with a heaven-bound outlook! Here, I am playing my small part in the grand pursuit of fulfilling the Great Commission. With each smile, each helpful hand extended, I am representing Christ. I am an ambassador for him! I was made for moments like this. Not to collect my $50,000 a year and receive the smiles given by a world no longer ignorant to the fact I've found my "place". I just want to do the will of the Father. Why do we make things more complicated than they need to? Doesn't it make sense for even our flesh to want the simpler way? There are Alabamians who have been stripped of all possessions. Some families were wiped off the face of the earth in the span of minutes on April 27th. Others survived for a divine purpose, and still don't know it. Yet, their hope is being restored day by day. Can I say the same thing about me? Is any part of me swirling into chaos, despite a sturdy roof over my head? I know what I can't take. And I'm aware of the truth I must absorb in my spiritual mainstream:
“So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.” ~ Colossians 3:1-2 (MSG)