“Perspective is the difference between a negative approach to life and a belief that God is in control!”
The other day I was talking with my daughter-in-law on FaceTime and I saw a little head appear on the screen. After chatting a few moments with 3-year-old Ari, he disappeared and we continued with our conversation. Suddenly I heard a little voice call, “Nan, Nan”. And when I said “Yes, Ari?” He said very quietly “Nan, I like the polka dots on the back of your hands”.
At first, I didn’t realize what he meant and then, looking at my hands, I saw what he had seen close-up on the screen. He had seen the age spots … brown, discoloured ugly spots that I would erase if I could … spots that appeared after thousands of hours washing little hands, preparing meals, cleaning the house, rocking little babies … spots that were the results of 75 years of constant use and abuse!
However, to Ari, these spots were happy spots, polka dots, something that made him smile! Polka dots represented bright coloured birthday presents, a circus clown or a bouquet of floating balloons!
Why did Ari see “beautiful” and I see “old”? We were looking at my hands from two different perspectives! Ari saw hands that had wiped away his tears, hands that had held him when he was hurt, hands that had rocked him to sleep. On the other hand, I saw the brown spots as signs of aging, reminders that I was no longer young and that time was passing by.
If we look at any definition of the word “perspective”, it always involves “looking”.
How do we see ourselves? How do we look at others? How do we view our circumstances, our job, our family? The Bible is full of accounts of individuals whose perspective on life enabled them to become heroes of their time or, adversely, caused them to fail. Joshua, Caleb and ten other spies were sent to see if the land of Canaan could be conquered. The ten spies looked at the giants who lived there and reported that they would be impossible to overcome. They looked through eyes of fear. But Joshua and Caleb “had a different spirit in them” and reported that God would enable them to win the battle. They saw the same giants but what a different response! Their (Joshua and Caleb’s) perspective came from remembering God’s faithfulness in the past … so they looked through eyes of faith. Same circumstances, two different responses fueled by perspective!
How about your eyesight? Are you looking at life and seeing “brown spots” or “polka dots”?
It’s all a matter of perspective!
Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from thy Word”. Psalm 119:18