Today I was chatting to one of our daughters who is currently completing the last few months of her degree. As part of her studies she must do a certain amount of unpaid practicum hours, and some of those have been at one of the hospitals in our city. The first day of “prac” our daughter was not impressed. She arrived home from her first full day, threw herself onto the lounge, and lamented that she was doing all this work and not being paid for it.
However I am pleased to say only a few weeks later she has had a change of perspective. All of a sudden she is realising just how difficult and challenging life can be for other people and how she, with her bubbly laughter, endless energy and love of life can be a blessing, and encouragement to everyone she assists and works with. Compassion and understanding have risen up in her heart, and a desire to pray and see God move in His love and power.
Essentially our intelligent youthful, beautiful daughter has had a “change of perspective”. Life is not that bad. The ceiling on your car might be held up by pins, your bank account may sometimes be stretched, and people can hurt and disappoint you, but that is nothing in comparison to what others may be going through. She has discovered for herself the lost, hurting, sick and often fearful mass of humanity, and her heart and view of the world has changed. No longer are there any complaints about working for free, but instead it’s “what can I do to help these people?”
How often do we lack perspective about our life? We see with such tunnel vision, beholding only our little world, and what is or isn’t going our way right now. When alongside us there is the hurting, the lost, lonely and struggling. We may think we are having a difficult time, but if we choose to take a look, and to listen we would no doubt all soon discover we are very very blessed and fortunate. We can feel what we are facing is disastrous or putting pressure on us, but it’s more than likely -”a first world problem ”. In other places people are wondering if they are going to be blown up in their beds, lose their children, or battling with illness and poverty we haven’t even imagined. Even in our own neighborhood there are those considering if they will eat tonight, and where they will sleep. They brace themselves each day, wondering if they are going to make it safely through another day and night.
For many of us we do need to check on our perspective regularly. To see the blessings we do have, and to appreciate afresh the good things in our lives every day. And then to take the time to look, to listen and to ask God where we can find a hurt and be an instrument in God’s hands to heal it; and to find a need and meet it.
If we would all start by looking out at the world, instead of looking inward at ourselves; at our problems, at our houses, finances and issues all the time, we would quickly experience a change of perspective, and realise just how good we have it. If we chose to listen to God’s voice gently prompting us to be a blessing wherever we go, instead of listening and looking at our own wants all the time, we could all make a difference in someone else’s life. If we did that how differently would we live our day, and how many hearts and lives could we all touch with God’s love and kindness.
Jesus said, “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”(John 13:34-35)
We don’t have to be afraid we will be overwhelmed by the sheer depth of need, because that isn’t Gods way. He gives us strength and wisdom, and enables us to walk in those good works He has planned for us to walk in. For those struggling God wants them to know that He has a way through, and in Him there is answers, and keys to unlock the doors that seem to be blocking their way through life.
Today ask God, who sees everything and everyone, to give you a perspective change. Don’t underestimate how an expression of love and kindness can make a difference in someone’s life. And if you are not received well in one place, because yes people are broken and cranky, just bless them, and ask God, “where next”, and ask for His perspective.
Prayer: Lord help me to see with heavens perspective, rather than with my own little view. Show me where I have become self focused, when you want me to look and see with your eyes. Would you point me to where I can be a blessing today. In Jesus name Amen