Perspectives from the First Person
Today is one of my friends birthday. Today marks the anniversary of a tragic accident. Today is someones wedding day. Today someone loved is put to rest.
Today we explore the fallacy of ‘Perspectives from the First Person.’
Note from Kip…
As the never-ending drone of the tires on the pavement seemed to persist in her bones, she sat there in the passenger seat wondering what the purpose was that he had taken her so far away from the things that she loved and the place where she felt safe.
After all, he had asked her if she wanted a soda. She had replied to his question with an enthusiastic ‘sure!’ But, was confused when he grabbed his keys and said, “get your jacket lets go”.
That was a half hour ago. Now her eagerness for the refreshment of the beverage seems lost in mile markers that kept passing by every so often.
She was about to question him about the purpose of all of this because from where she sat in the passenger’s seat, this was not what she had agreed to.
The shadows were lengthening on the ground outside the window of the car and she grumbled inside at him because it was her tradition to have a snack shortly after dusk and he knew it! There was soda in the fridge back home after all, why was this trek into the countryside necessary? It seemed to serve no purpose what so ever.
The notion to interrogate him about all of this was about to come to a point of action, when he glanced over at her with that warm smile he always seemed to have lurking just under the surface and said, “At last, the turn-off!”
Moments later she found herself still bewildered, attempting to take everything in. She could see as they drove through the dense woods on a particularly narrow two-lane road, a certain beauty in the fall colors. “I guess it was a road”, she muttered in her mind, now more curious than irritated at him.
About that time, he pulled the car over at a turn out that had appeared out of nowhere. He turned off the engine as he put the car in park.
Puzzled and now beginning to feel that irritation rising a bit again, she hears his voice tell her, “Let’s go”, simultaneously with the mechanical sound of his door opening, he stepped out of the vehicle.
He seemed to float around the car as he came to her door and pulled it open for her, with a sweeping gesture of his left hand as if he were welcoming her to step on to a red carpet. That smile still mocking her slightly but she loved it and she loved him. She’d gone this far without protest, so sure, why not.
He opened the trunk and pulled out a medium-sized backpack and tossed it on his shoulders then took her hand and began to lead her into the woods. “The woods?”, she thought to herself as she heard the remote door lock engage on the car, apparently triggered by his left hand which she wasn’t holding.
They walked up a fairly short berm and as they crested it, her eyes became a big as saucers as the most beautiful scene of color and majesty came into view reflected on a placid lake.
She felt a spring return to her step and he led her to a spot a few feet short of the water where the view across the lake was clear. The sun was beginning sink in the horizon behind them so the forest they walked through as a darkened backdrop, in contrast, the bright hues shining out to them from across the water.
She was feeling the fresh air in her lungs and had somewhat lost herself in awe when she realized that this apparently had been a well thought out scheme of his because not only was this spot visual perfection, it also was ideal for laying the blanket out that he had produced from the backpack.
“Isn’t this great?”, he asked her as he motioned for her to take a seat on the blanket, then sat next to her, with the backpack now wedged between his knees.
“I have to apologize”, he continued, “I brought you out here under false pretenses, I asked you if you wanted a soda.” Now emerging from the backpack came two mugs and a stainless steel thermos.
As he unscrewed the top, the air became full of a familiar aroma of hot chocolate. It was a bit cool and the desire for a cool beverage was the last thing on her mind, but this? This she could handle!
They drank the coco and watched as the illumination of the trees across the lake dimmed to shadows and the stars began to pop out in a random sequence. One display of wonder had been replaced by another as the heavens became a theater of light in the sky.
“I love this”, she sighed, her voice now perfectly satisfied with the outcome of his deception, leaning back on his chest.
“So”, he began, “you don’t think you’d mind seeing this every evening before bed?”
A puzzled look came over her. “You see, I bought this plot of land for us to build the lake cottage we’ve always wanted. I thought this was a good way to show it off to you!”
The soda didn’t matter anymore.
Time and Perspective
We tend to draw untimely conclusions to our situations based on the view we have of our surroundings at this very moment.
I’m not entirely sure if this is simply a flaw in our means of processing our environment or if it something that is more sinister, like us considering that this perspective must be correct because it is ours.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.”
This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 (CSB)
God must be at times, mildly amused at our obvious resistance to His leading in our lives. At times all we can observe is the same old, seeming to be redundant, mile markers streaming by with no apparent destination in mind.
We sit in the passengers’ seat and question his motives, perhaps even at times consider challenging him with a question as to why he could drag you out here away from the things that make you comfortable, for what?
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (CSB)
We love God, why then do we get a bit irritated when He doesn’t show us what we expect to see or give us what we think He should give us? At times, we even become a bit angry at Him and despondent about this predicament that He has placed us in.
Young lions lack food and go hungry, but those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing.
Psalms 34:10 (CSB)
From our perspective, we cannot see what God’s got planned for us. From where we sit, the darkness maybe closing in and we can’t yet see the stars illuminating the sky with His abundance.
We accept for fact that it was He that created the universe, that it was He that gave us life, that it was He that came to live among us and that it was He that died a horrible death, just so that He could share eternity with us in our new home on the shores of the Jordan river.
We can accept that. But what we can’t seem to grasp is that even though things don’t look favorable to us right now or even worse, He’s got our path laid out in such a way that these current circumstances really don’t amount to that much at all. The things that we see around us now don’t matter at all in the scheme of things because our perspective is short-sighted and narrow. His perspective, on the other hand, ranges from everlasting to everlasting. He understands our needs. He wants to see us prosper in His love.
So why doubt?
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear? ’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:31-34 (CSB)
It is a mistake to base our idea of the world around us only on what we can see, hear, touch and feel. If we believe all the things He has done for us there is no reason that we should question what He has said he would do for us going forward.
Has God made a blunder along the way that I didn’t notice or is it that we tend to judge our situation by what we see?
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him.
Matthew 7:11 (CSB)
The things we can see are temporary and fleeting. Here today, gone tomorrow. Only the invisible things of God are eternal.
So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (CSB)
Then if we can’t see those things eternal, how can it make any sense whatsoever to trust what we see, right here, right now? The answer is that we simply cannot and should not place our trust in our perspective.
Our trust should be vested in only one thing and that is where we should place our hope as well.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (CSB)
Because He is good, He is faithful, He’s told us that He seeks the best for us, and our destination has been made clear to us by His Word.
There are critical flaws in the Perspective of the First Person. We must put our hope and trust in the person of Jesus Christ. Because after all, He is the good shepherd, and we are His sheep.
He will leave the ninety-nine to come to find us if we are lost. Because He loves us and because from His perspective, He has this!