I love PERSPECTIVE. So often we look at something head on, and only see the surface. We’ll twist our head a bit and see something that had been totally out of view before. Then maybe we’ll look at it from behind, and once again we have to shift our opinion. It’s not what it appeared to be at first glance. It’s amazing when we realize it, but often our memories forget to remind us of this wonder the next time we find ourselves gazing intently at something, and so we start the process all over again. We have to re-gain perspective.
It’s probably why I love having people in my life with very diverse outlooks. I especially love those who are original thinkers….who don’t take the average opinion and make it their own, but who carefully consider topics using their own senses, information gathering, experimentation and judgment, and come to their own conclusions. They have perspective.
I remember in college I took a loathsome astronomy observatory lab. We had to take telescopes and point them into the heavens and do some sort of measurements. Yeah, I didn’t understand what it all meant then either. To compound my problem, I picked the fun people as my group mates. Dumb idea. Dumb, dumb idea. So what is this group of fun, but not necessarily astronomy-smart, people to do? We would go around to the other groups, get their answers, average them all (I had some math skills!), and whatever we came up with was our answer. Great idea, right?! Nope! We failed miserably. In coming up with the averages, we were never getting the correct answers. One group may be off by a long shot, others right on point. Even throwing high and low answers out wouldn’t work, because what if only one group understood the concept (as often happened)? Since we didn’t quite understand the question, we couldn’t discern whether the answers made any sense. We were losers. I picked a different group the next time.
Sometimes my thinking gets in a rut. OK, sometimes I don’t think at all. I find I am going through life by rote, not thoughtfully. If you surround yourselves with a few thoughtful types, they won’t let you stay in that place for long. They will challenge the lazy mind you have adopted and make sure you do not rest until you form a thoughtful opinion of your own. There aren’t a lot of these folks in the world, but I am blessed with a few I hold dear. They are jewels…it matters to them that I think for myself, and they would be highly insulted if I simply adopted their opinions as my own. I feel the same about them. Without thinking before we discuss, and without coming to the table with a point of view, we lose the ability for iron to sharpen iron. But when we bring together two (or more) different points of view, we often discover new truths. Sometimes we adopt a new opinion, a compilation of something from one and something from another. But in the end it seems….more right!
Some folks really hate individual perspective…..they think we all need to look where they are looking and see what they are seeing. The possibility that their view may not be right is forbidden to ever enter their minds. The muscles of their minds (yes, we’re speaking figuratively here)
are quite strong in one sense, because they hold tight to their single point of view. What would that be called – brain isometrics? It’s difficult to make them budge. And they don’t, because they fear what would happen if they really exercise that muscle. You discuss a subject with them and they won’t participate – their mind is like a battering ram. It’s why we call them the hard-headed ones. Arguing with them is pointless, because they will not consider the possibility of being wrong.
There are times I get overwhelmed by how much I don’t know….or by how many things I need to learn over and over. I feel like my brain just isn’t big enough to think through the problems I encounter in life. I worry and stress and think I am doing it all wrong, but can’t figure out how to get it all right.
Ultimately, when it gets down to it, the trump card in the thinking game is that God is bigger. Life’s problems really can appear to be enormous. We really may be inadequate to handle. But there is comfort in knowing that God, the designer and creator of the universe, is in control. While I only see those things in my line of vision, He has the total picture in His sight. He has the ultimate perspective.
I love perspective.