Right perspective brings clarity

Perspective is a really interesting principle.  It’s defined as something that “gives the right impression of height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.” That last part is the critical nature of perspective – that “particular point” that puts us in alignment with a right view. When we’re out of alignment, the perspective gets skewed.

Have you seen these artists who are using the principle of perspective to create immersive images out on the streets?

Their intention is to completely immerse you in an experience that you wouldn’t expect to see in the middle of a public road. Objects seem to have depth or height, or even float off the ground.

The key though is to stand in right alignment so as to experience the correct perspective. When you’re out of alignment, the images start to look really strange, even confusing to view.

Perspective is interesting because it’s so personal – we experience everything based on how we’re positioned. Again, thinking about the chalk art, you can be standing in right perspective and see the art for exactly what it was intended to be, and at the same time, someone ten feet from you can be staring at the ground confused because they are out of alignment from the correct perspective.

chalk-globe-from-side

Our perspective in situations and seasons is similar. How we’re positioned and aligned in terms of our perspective completely impacts how we experience situations, and so examining our perspective is really important.

It’s not just about having “a positive outlook.” When you’re walking through a tough season, trying to convince yourself that it’s all really good or saying “well, it could be worse” will not right your perspective. Perspective isn’t about choosing to see our situation as good or “not as bad”, it’s about seeing our position related to God.We need to align our perspective with Jesus.

When our perspective is aligned with Jesus, we see things for what they really are and ourselves for who we are meant to be.

Consider Hebrews 12:1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

“…Run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…”

Our perspective needs to be aligned with Jesus, our eyes fixed on Him as we walk through circumstances. When we see Him, we see things for what they really are and ourselves for who we are meant to me. Hebrews 12 tells us a few profound things about how we are to process and act in a season.

1. Run – God is asking us to act; to live out our lives as He’s set them in motion and to make that race count. We’re not being told to sit back in a meditative state our whole lives and hope things change or work out. We’re given purpose and opportunity in Christ, and so we need to run the race, encouraged by the fact that God’s going before us in it.

2. Persevere – This isn’t always a short or easy race, and you don’t need perseverance for easy or short. Here we’re told to endure and press on through the rough spots trusting God as we press through. We know He’s marked out the road ahead – He’s going before us.

3. Focus on Christ – We see Jesus as our goal, our prize, and our finish. And we also see him as the “pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Jesus modeled, pioneered, what faith looks like for us. He experienced exhaustion, abandonment, disappointment, and pain. And He endured the cross. He didn’t grow weary. We can fix our eyes on Him and trust Him, seeing ourselves in light of Him and the identity we find in Him. Jesus is the reason this race is worth running.

When our perspective is aligned with Jesus, we see things for what they really are and ourselves for who we are meant to be.

I’ve been examining my perspective this week, and I’d ask you to do the same. Ask yourself if your perspective is aligned with Christ in the stuff you’re facing. Are you acting like you’re carrying it alone, or do you realize God’s actually holding the whole thing?

Kids are a great reminder of what a skewed perspective can look like. My son Jackson (three years old) doesn’t realize all the time that he’s the kid and I’m the dad. The other day, I tucked him into bed, but then realized that his bear that he normally sleeps with was downstairs in the living room. “I’ll be right back,” I said to Jackson. “I just have to run downstairs and get your bear.” Jackson started to climb out of bed in a bit of a hurry. “I’m coming with you daddy. I need to help you down the stairs” he said. I chuckled and said “no buddy, stay in bed. I’ll be right back.” As he hesitantly climbed back into bed, he said to me “Daddy, be VERY CAREFUL. Hold the railing, and if you need me, just yell. I’ll be right here.” He said it so seriously and with such concern, that it made me pause and realize that he had no idea how skewed his perspective was in what he needs to worry about. I carry him up the stairs all the time, him totally reliant on me and me not needing his help to go up and down. Imagine how crazy it would be for him to lose sleep over his needing to help me go up and down those same stairs.

How often do we worry about things that God totally has under control and is just inviting us into? A perspective aligned with Jesus reminds us of who we are in Him. When we run this race with our eyes fixed on Him, we will remember that He’s our strength, the source of our direction, and He’s got everything under control.

When our perspective is aligned with Jesus, we see things for what they really are and ourselves for who we are meant to be.

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