Friday, September 4, 2009
A Matter of Perspective
People really do have different points of view, different perspectives on life. This confuses me sometimes, why doesn't everyone agree with my point of view, my ideas, my opinions.
Particularly around core beliefs - about God, the universe, our existence, and politics. But then I try to put it into perspective. We all come from different places, and times, and experiences. As Hemingway said: "we are products of our life experiences". What he didn't say - is that we can change.
Ever skydive? Dina and I did once. We were sitting at breakfast one morning in Oahu, there was a brochure, there was a free day ahead, there wasn't enough sleep. So I made the call for the 2 of us, and within an hour we were in a van headed toward the North Shore of Hawaii. In the van, they made us sign a stack of papers, lots of legal jibberish about not holding them responsible for any 'incidents', and little stuff like that.
This picture is one I took while free-falling from 14,000 ft. over the crashing North Shore surf. My perspective of Hawaii was different from this angle - image that? My perspective of a lot of things was different, like: how slowly you seem to fall - things sorta stay still for awhile; and when the chute opens, it doesn't really jolt you back like I thought it would; and how much faith jumpers put in a small number of ropes attached to a piece of silk. More importantly, I was surprised at how happy I was, when I landed on both legs, to be alive.
We never thought we would ever skydive, but now we're glad we did (particularly over Hawaii) - we experienced something new and different, and our perspectives changed. It's even prettier from the sky - you can smell the ocean at high altitude, you can see the reefs and the water color is more vivid from up there, and no matter how hot it is on the beach - it's cold outside at 14,000 feet when you're moving fast.
I'm reminded that our perspectives, as believers, should be different from others. We're living in a foreign land, as aliens. Regardless of our upbringing - our life experience - we should try to take a perspective as new creatures. In Colossians we're told to not let anyone 'capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ'. Good advice and a good reminder (that some of us need daily).
Stay away from those empty ideas and the complete non-sense of the world. We need to keep a Christ-like perspective on everything we do, and guard ourselves against the world we live in. Simple thought, I know. Nothing too earth shattering. Yet, do we do it?
Start looking at things differently.