Perspective is a funny thing. It can be used to make things appear large or small, important or menial.
Usually, perspective is used in reference to a three dimensional field of vision. But what would it look like to include the spiritual? How would your life’s perspective change if you expanded your field of vision to include God’s power and personal involvement?
Yesterday I was driving into town. I wasn’t until I was at a stop light 20 minutes into my trip when I realized my visor down in front of me. It wasn’t particularly sunny, but it had been down when I sat in the car. The whole time my vision had been limited.
Until then, focusing on the road and other drivers took my full attention. I hadn’t bothered to notice what was just out of sight. I flipped up the visor and the view of a gorgeous, Tennessee sky was revealed. (I’m short, so I probably see more sky than most people.) I was shocked at how such beauty was right in front of me the whole time; I just had to look up.
It reminded me of the happy surprise I received in 2007 when I finally realized the strength of God’s love for me. Until that point, I only focused on my own path and the path of those alongside me. I cared more about my reflection in the visor’s mirror than the amazing beauty beyond the visor.
How much of your life is spent with the visor down? Take a look at your life truly and honestly. Are you flipping up the visor to take in God’s full glory only on Sundays and then putting it back down again during the week to examine your reflection?
Or maybe, while there are many areas of your life you have surrendered to God, there are still one or two things you are trying to handle yourself. I imagine that must look like the passenger side visor flipped down instead of the driver’s.
In every part of my life, I want God’s beauty to be shining fully. To do that, I need to keep surrendering. That means I need to keep looking up and seeing this journey in context – under the loving protection of the Creator.
It sounds so simple. God’s power is shining on us always, despite clouds and storms. His beauty is always reaching out and available to us like the sun’s rays.
So why is it so hard to in God’s light? Here are the top three reasons. I’d like to cite Pastor Jamie George of Journey Church here, for the top 3 reasons to fear change. They are always relevant to my journey. I hope they will shed some light on your own (pun intended). Don’t let them stop you from living the full life God wants you to enjoy traveling with Him.
1. Fear of loosing control.
The idea of surrendering to God’s will and releasing full control of one’s life can seem quite terrifying. Not knowing what’s around the next corner can leave a person paralyzed by refusing to move forward or completely overwhelmed by the worries of all that could possibly go wrong.
I think it’s important to remember, whether or not you hold on to your plans, there will be unforseen challenges and struggles. The great thing about traveling along God’s will instead of our own, is those obstacles are foreseen by God and He is able to prepare you, comfort you, and support you so you will experience a life more fulfilling than you ever dreamed possible.
If you are going to have challenges anyway, isn’t it better to head into them along the course the Creator sees necessary for your greatest good?
2. Fear of losing comfort.
I know this fear well. At least, in as much as it applies to my career.
After two career dreams that came to a disappointing end, I stopped looking for a career altogether. I wanted a job where I could do my 9-5 and come home and enjoy friends, movies, and books. This – and a husband – was what I wanted out of life since my first year in the full time working world.
Of course, none of that happened. As I followed God’s promptings, every job has pushed me out of my comfort zone and grown me toward more responsibility. And while I enjoy being single – believe me, it’s lovely and it smells better here – God has not yet sent a husband my way.
Has it been tough? Sure. Has it been rewarding? Absolutely. Do I regret my path? Not in the least. I’ve grown more confident, happy, and peaceful. And each decision to follow God’s will brought me priceless blessings worth far more than the pain of the challenges.
3. Fear of losing approval.
Now, this is the one that strikes a chord in my heart like nothing else. For a long time I feared anyone’s disaproval. In my mind, disapproval meant I was wrong and, therefore, something was wrong with me. It wasn’t logical, but it was a very real truth for me.
Without the approval of those around me, I feared I would lose my connection to the world. Without those connections I imagined I would be lost and have no sense of self or direction. And I was mostly right, actually.
Following God’s lead, I started to act in ways I thought would cause me to lose approval of the people around me. As a result, I lost a lot of my connections with the world and replaced them with a stronger connection to my Heavenly Father. I found I had much less of a personal direction and found a love for a spiritual direction instead.
Most importantly, I now see my sense of self in the context of God’s creation, with my visor flipped up so I can soak in the beauty of the journey.