Perspective is everything
According to the Mayo Clinic, cataracts are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eyes becomes more liquid. Microscopic fibers within the vitreous tend to clump and can cast tiny shadows on your retina. The shadows you see are called floaters.
It wasn’t that long ago that I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It appeared in my far-right path of vision moving slowly to my left. I sighed and thought to myself, here we go, a trip to the eye doctor needs to be on my calendar and soon. Saddened, I watched a big black spot move across my entire field of vision… but wait. This thing has got legs! It was then, and to my relief, that I realized it was a ladybug crawling across the front of my glasses. That was close, in more ways than one. Perspective is an incredible thing.
It is true that how you look at life has a big impact on how you live your life. Some things aren’t always as threatening and menacing as they appear, such as ladybugs. Listen to what the apostle Paul wrote: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Paul says let your anxieties be overshadowed by a close communion with Jesus and you will avoid the perils of a faulty perspective of life and its problems. In fact, your approach when seasoned with faith in an unfailing God can make quite a difference in the world.
During World War II, General Creighton Abrams found himself and his troops surrounded on all sides. With characteristic optimism, he told his officers, “For the first time in the history of this campaign, we are now in a position to attack the enemy in any direction.” I love that! Lord help us to have that right perspective.
When Goliath came up against the Israelites, the soldiers all thought, “He’s so big, we can never kill him.” David looked at the same giant and thought, “He’s so big I can’t miss.” Remember, he had rehearsed in front of King Saul all that the Lord had helped him to do as he cared for his father’s sheep, how The Lord had strengthened and protected him. And on that day, as he walked right into the face of his enemy, he could be heard saying, “Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear, and with a shield, but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel who thou hast defiled.”
And ,wouldn’t you know it, the one whom David served delivered him that very day.
Let me say a few things about giants today. The ones you and I face don’t wear Philistine armor, but they still cast long shadows. They belch boasting claims, and they wander into our world commanding attention and demanding our energy. Most giants have common denominators. First, giants always dominate the landscape. Whether it’s a physical, financial or another problem or need, it can be the only thing we see. It commands our time and focus and nothing else matters. According to the Bureau of Standards in Washington, a dense fog covering seven city blocks to a depth of 100 feet comprises less than one glass of water. That amount of water is divided into about 60 billion tiny droplets. Yet when those minute particles settle over a city or the countryside, they can almost blot out everything from your sight.
Giants always intimidate people and contaminate hope. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves living in the fog rather than having the clear heart and mind that God has in store for us. A glass full of trouble can intimidate and contaminate our lives, if we allow it.
Here’s the good news delivered again by Paul: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”
You see, a correct perspective puts our mighty God in comparison to the earthly issues we face and gives to us what Paul calls, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”
Don’t allow a giant, or a ladybug for that matter, introduce distraction or discouragement into your life. There is a God who is bigger and stronger than any problem we may face. Chuck Swindoll, in “One Step Forward. Two Steps Back” writes that every problem is an opportunity to prove God’s power. Every day, we encounter countless golden opportunities, brilliantly disguised as insurmountable problems.
So, allow me to ask, how are you looking at the landscape of your life?
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Ministry Director for the Family Research Council.