Listening to the non-stop wrangling of politicians and their respective followers, I’m reminded of the importance of perspective. The late Victor Borge was known for his “phonetic language,” postulating that we do not always understand each other because we do not use punctuation marks when we speak, as we do when we read and/or write.
Perhaps more closely to the truth, we misunderstand each other at times for various reasons, but quite often it’s because of our limited perspective. Someone once said, “We don’t see the world the way it is; we see it the way we are.” That’s a very limited perspective.
While Meriam-Webster offers four dimensions to their definition of the word perspective, let me simplify that in two. First, they offer, in part, this meaning—“the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the special relation of objects as they might appear to the eye.”
This explanation conveys to us the concept of illusion—that, for example, as we view a drawing or painting, we perceive depth when in reality, it is an illusion. What is not real is created in such a way as to cause an observer to see it as real.
Secondly, Webster adds this dimension to their explanation—“the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed,” in contrast to the subject being physically viewed. Ideally, the greater our understanding is, the better our capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.
Most of us have heard or said to others, “You need to maintain your perspective.” I suppose each of us has come to realize keeping our perspective is more easily said than done at times along the trail of life.
BTW, do you pray? If so, wouldn’t this be a great time for us to pray for perspective for ourselves as we navigate the twists and turns of life? It may be that you, your friends, associates at school or work, or neighbors are faced with financial or physical difficulty. Ask God to give you His perspective.
During the 1970s when I served as one of the missions pastors under the late Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr, I often heard him say that wisdom is “seeing things from God’s point of view.” That is the perspective that each of us needs daily in life!
Thankfully, according to James 1:5 (ESV), “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
Further, as America approaches another presidential election, our citizens desperately need wisdom and perspective. Without wisdom, many voters will be fooled by candidates who paint an illusion—pretending to be one thing, when in reality they are another.
Historically, America began with men—though imperfect—who understood the importance of Godly wisdom, and they appealed to Him in prayer, and did so in earnest. I fear that some 240 years later, our nation is being lead to our demise by men and women who pretend to talk the talk, but their walks betray their talks!
Let us humbly pray until we see, not “through a glass darkly,” but rather from God’s perspective, and see all things clearly!