My awesome wife finished up her blog updates yesterday, and I sit here tonight on the back porch with the sun going down, family close following a great evening last night catching up with old friends giving serious consideration to the ramifications on perspective in the life of those of us who call ourselves “followers of Christ”.
I find it interesting that someone as out there as Friedrich Nietzsche got it more correct than most of us do in so called Christian circles when he said “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” With very few exceptions on foundational principles of God, existence and laws of nature/life, perspective is everything and we usually get it wrong, no matter how right we think we are. On our way home last night in the car, we (Candace and I without the boys amazingly) discussed how often we are down on our close neighbors for getting something wrong (theology, personality, sin…) in daily life and then we go out and fly halfway around the world to “change someone else’s life” who has it, in our opinion, way more wrong in their view on life. Why do we do this? What makes us attack and draw hard lines with those close to us and near us while we spend our lives as followers of Christ going after others that are far worse off by our localized standard of judgment.
I cannot put my finger on it over the last few years where it changed for me, but I have to say that sometimes you just have to go in some totally different directions and get exposed to much more than our superficial and controlled/localized world to see the big picture. Anything else leaves us with a highly ignorant perspective on life, God and most obviously those closest to us and around us. Many of those around us have incredible amounts to offer up to God, society and personal friendships if we will only get past our perspective and let them.
I cannot wait to hopefully soon get on a plane to the other side of the world and pick up those 2 little girls that have absolutely zero in common with me and my family to bring them back and expose my family to yet another new and amazing perspective. Our perspective is so often skewed based on our localized environment which is such a pity. We do not even know what we are missing.
I started reading “The Scent of Water” this week by Naomi Zacharias. This is all while my wife is reading “The Hole in our Gospel” by the founder of World Vision. The opening lines of chapter 1 tells a story that is worth repeating: “I was twenty-seven when I first read the story about the Hasidic rabbi who told his people that if they studied the Torah, it would put Scriptures on their hearts. A woman asked him, “But why on our hearts instead of in them?” The rabbi answered, “Only God can put Scriptures inside. But reading sacred text can put it on your hearts, and when your hearts break, the holy words will fall inside.”
I pray now daily that maybe before I die, that all that learning, teaching and studying of the Scriptures over the last 35 years will somehow become real and go beyond simple words on pages. Sometimes it takes a tragedy, broken heart or more to make it real. May we continue to head in the right direction always and keep in mind when we come in contact with those who seem to have it different than we do: perspective, perspective & perspective…