Today I am thinking about perspective. Sometimes I think about that as I pursue my hobby of photography, but today I have something else in mind. One of the definitions for perspective listed by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.”
If you have spent any time at all on social media, or even in casual conversations, you are well aware that a proper perspective is hard to achieve. It is truly amazing how people can take a small slight and turn it into a major attack. Other times they may minimize the pain, suffering, or danger others are in. Some people have the perception that if you don’t agree with them on any given issue, you must be attacking them. Sometimes people “make a mountain out of a molehill,” and other times they refuse to see how large an issue truly is.
The current crisis has produced many examples of the problem of perspective. Some people are angry because their vacation plans got changed. Some are hoarding supplies like the world is about to end. Some see it as an inconvenience, others sitting at home without a paycheck are panicking. Add to that mixture all the stuff that is thrown around in an election year and we truly have many who have lost perspective – they can’t see straight.
Sometimes it is hard to see properly and we judge things wrongly. The solution? We need an accurate standard to lay alongside the situation. When I am not sure if a picture I am hanging is straight, I pull out my little level. It gives an accurate readout and I can adjust accordingly. For the believer the standard is the Word of God – The Bible. For the person who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ (and in Him alone) we find many statements that help us measure our present circumstances. The apostle Paul suffered greatly, but then said; ” For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Rom. 8:18 ESV) It truly is a matter of perspective.
One of the Puritans, Robert Parker, penned this prayer over 400 years ago. It is still appropriate.
A MIDDAY PRAYER FOR PERSPECTIVE
Show me how to love the word, that my bold love for you would increase.
Remind me that the fashions of the world pass away, and their momentary glory will vanish into emptiness and nothing.
Draw my heart to you and set my mind on things that will last forever.
Help me love you fiercely, and cleave to you with a perfect heart. may nothing here satisfy my soul.
Protect me through the rest of this day, that I may fall into no temptation, and no danger of soul or body, for the sake of Jesus Christ my blessed Redeemer. Amen.
(Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans, copyright 2019 Robert Elmer, page 272)
Praying for you all,