Monday, March 13, 2006


It’s somewhat humbling when you realize that the things you hold dear in life are not all that significant to others. It can be humbling, it can be disturbing, and it can even be maddening. I find myself many times distraught after giving some big dissertation on another brilliant discovery that I’ve made, only to have the person I’m revealing this to
say something like “What does this have to do with me?”. They don’t get it. They don’t appreciate it. Maybe it’s just that they don’t want to better themselves. I tell myself this to soothe my ego. I can almost hear my angel laughing hysterically. His response to my brilliance would most likely be “duh, look who just caught up”. After all, he knows what I too often have forgotten, that “there’s nothing new under the sun.” I find this whole process of thinking oneself brilliantly enlightened to be an occupational hazard. My greatest fear as a speaker and teacher of God’s word is for people to roll their eyes and say “whatever.” I’m afraid that they won’t see what I’m seeing, or how I’m seeing it. I’m realizing, maybe a bit slowly, that it’s all in the view that one brings to life situations. For example, I’m sitting here at Starbucks looking out through a wall of windows onto an unobstructed view of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains. Anyone can step back and interpret this view in a variety of ways depending on what state of life they find themselves in. If I were a lover of boats and all things nautical, my eye gets fixed on the ferry that is gliding across in determined fashion toward the Islands. I would even know it’s destination by it’s size and shape. If I were someone inclined towards climbing and hiking, I’d notice the snow capped peaks stretching toward the sky and imagine what kinds of trails I’d encounter there and maybe I’d recall successful climbs of my past. As it is, for me, I’m wondering which peaks have roads that I can drive my Honda up to viw the summit. If I were an admirer of wildlife, my gaze would be fixed on the eagles nest high in the tree across the street. And If I had a deeper social consciousness, I’d take more notice of the homeless guy selling papers on the sidewalk. It’s all in the perspective you bring to a given scene that helps you interpret it. As I’ve gotten older and more aware of my faults, I try to step back on occasion and not impose entirely my set of eyes on a situation. I don’t know about you, but I for one am getting extremely tired of the Hollywood gossip rags that litter the aisles of every supermarket and convenience store that I venture into. I’m tired of looking at the pitiful lives and exploits of people that one segment of our culture emulates. But I admit, when I step back and put on another view, it causes me to wonder what my life would look like in a tabloid. How would I fare on the cover of Rolling Stone. What photos would people pull out of my family album to declare how much weight I’d gained or lost. I can be very judgmental of these people who are only guilty of being people. Our elected officials get the same treatment. I can see every one of their faults and sometimes even imagine myself in their roles thinking, I’d do it this way or that way, certainly not their way. What a closed view I can have. There certainly are faith implications for me in this. I’ve often wondered, in the whole cosmic world salvation issue, why God didn’t just do what he intended to do without going through all the effort of sending his son, the sacrifice and all that? Where is the deeper magic behind all of this? Him being God and all he could do it any way he wanted. I have a handle on the free will stuff I think. I have wondered though about the whole coming to earth thing, Immanuel, God with us and all. My thought is hardly deeply theological, and it might make my Bible professors cringe, but I wonder if it wasn’t to get a different view. Now follow me. God’s love for me and others like me is totally about grace. I find myself to be more grace filled and grace giving when I try to change my view and look at life through others expereinces. Maybe His ability to offer immeasurable grace to me and others like me is enhanced by His willingness to change His view point. Don’t get this wrong, I believe wholeheartedly in truth and Gods steadfastness in it. I don’t think changing view means changing what’s inherently true. I just wonder if it doesn’t allow Him to totally understand where we are when He’s already been there. I’m not sure. I guess it’s all in your point of view.