Dust and Diamonds
Perspective. Everyone has one. Perspective can’t be defined by mere facts about you, because every perspective is unique. Sure, you could say my perspective is from a brown-haired, brown-eyed, caucasian, 23 year-old pastor’s wife who grew up in Virginia, is part of a Christian family of 6 with 3 older brothers, and received a Christian education growing up. However, as much as that might narrow things down, I’m not the only one out there that fits that criteria. I bet if you sat down over coffee with all of us who met that criteria we would all be drastically different and still have different perspectives.
Perspective is defined as “the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed.” Perspective is more than one’s socioeconomic status. It has to do with how we think and process things, which scientists and psychologists have failed to figure out (and I think may never figure out – it’s one of those things so fascinating about how God made us!). But I’m not here to discuss the scientific nature of perspective. You see, I realized something big about perspective this week and want to share that with you. I explained what perspective was to get to my overarching point: our perspective can and often needs to change. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. To change your perspective you have to change what and how you perceive things. Basically, how you think. Once you change your perspective, which happens either intentionally or circumstantially, one of two things can happen. Let me tell you two stories to illustrate my point.
My first story is a personal one. When Jason and I were dating we went and looked at rings out-of-town one day. We found the perfect one but forgot where it was after having looked at all 10 different jewelry stores in the mall. Unannounced to me, he went looking with his family a month or so later. He picked out a different one, but in a last effort to find the ring they went to one last store and found it! Our engagement story is a long, fun, and beautiful one. If you were to see me that first week you’d know just how “twitterpated” I was over everything (if you don’t know what that means or didn’t catch my reference to Bambi, watch this 2 minute video: http://bit.ly/q0w0Lu). I couldn’t stop staring at and taking pictures of this gorgeous ring which the prince from my dreams had given me. I treasured that ring and loved to watch it sparkle in the sunlight, and I still do every day. But this week something went wrong. I was working early in the morning and took a quick break after a few hours. I looked down and noticed something was missing… one of my diamonds had fallen out! I knew there was no chance of finding it in the store but looked anyways. It was saddening and only made my rough morning that much more difficult. (Thankfully, we have a protection plan that will replace said diamond, so I didn’t have to worry too much).
The diamond brings me to the first thing perspective can do: a changed perspective can help you realize something very precious missing in your life. Maybe, like my ring, it’s something you once had. You used to have a consistent quiet time. You used to be a forgiving person. You used to be driven by love and compassion. “Used to…” isn’t good enough. God intends and yearns for us to have these things and anything else along that line that may be now missing in your life. Changing your perspective can help you realize that need. It could also be something you never had. Maybe you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Maybe you are saved but never developed a prayer life of any kind. Maybe forgiveness and mercy is the last thing on your list. You name it; develop it.
My second story is second-hand. My mother-in-law had surgery on her heel this week for a painful bone spur that was causing excruciating pain while she walked or did anything. The doctors remarked that they didn’t know how she was even walking because it had progressed so badly. She is now off her feet entirely and relies on scooting her way around the house in a wheel chair. She began noticing things around the house over the past few days that she hasn’t noticed in the years that they have lived in their current house. Dust and dirt. It was everywhere. And I assure you that they have a very clean home, so this was a shock to hear. But it was in all the places you can’t see standing up. You can only see it when in the seated position, to which she is now confined. All these places that were completely hidden she is now, in a sense, forced to find.
And so dust reveals the second thing a changed perspective can do: a changed perspective can help you realize something in your life that shouldn’t be there. Maybe there is a sin in your life that is making you filthy even though no one notices it. Maybe you don’t even notice the sin. Maybe it’s your attitude that needs to be cleaned up. Maybe complacency and apathy need to be abolished in your life. Arrogance. Pride. Selfishness. Greed. Self-degradation. Depression. Unfortunately, the possibilities are endless. Often they are subtle and, like the dust in my in-law’s house, sneak into the nooks and crannies of our lives and could go unnoticed by all for years. Stop making excuses, look for areas that need some cleaning, and get to cleaning.
Perspective changes everything, and it can be the stepping stone to changing your life for the better. God is constantly working in us to bring out Himself. It is the working out of our salvation; our sanctification. I love how Paul puts it in Philippians 3:16: “Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” We already are made as perfect in God’s sight, because He sees us through Jesus’ redeeming blood. And we are in the process of becoming more like Him as we daily take up our cross and follow Him. Now, let us truly begin to live up to the standard Jesus has set for us!
Posted on October 12, 2011, in Christian Living and tagged Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Diamonds, Family Ministry, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.