Monday, February 8, 2010

Try a Different Seat

Family dinner will take place later this evening. So for lunch, I just heated a quick bowl of soup and decided to enjoy my bowl of Progresso Italian Wedding Soup in the front office instead of at my desk. I began to ponder the interesting perspective adjustment that occurs just by changing something as simple as where you sit.

Now my lovely office here at the church is cozy and inviting. Our board even went to the trouble of knocking out part of a wall to create a window for me! My view is great and contributes beautifully to my need for sunshine. But sitting here for a brief moment by the front windows gave me an entirely different perspective.

For instance, I can see the cars whizzing by and it reminds me of why our church message sign is so important. (We try diligently to avoid the embarrassing signs that say things like: "We're small because we preach the gospel!" or "What's missing from ch__ch? U R!!" sigh!)

I also just witnessed a cute little older lady toddle across the parking lot of the neighboring restaurant. She seemed a bit unsteady at first. But once she got her steam up, she made a bee- line for the edge of the parking lot; pushed aside two hedges that blocked her desired path; stepped through and quickly disappeared in the direction of her proposed destination. Whew, I wouldn't want to tangle with HER!

To the left of my new view is the hibiscus that produces such magnificent pink blooms all summer long. It was evidently burned rather badly during the multiple days of freezing weather we had recently. (The temperatures weren't so bad by most standards but they were brutal on all this tropical foliage.)

Yep, sitting up here I can see all sorts of different things. And the Lord began to quietly speak to me about the greater importance of being willing to see things differently!

Years ago I was at a conference where a terrific lady from California (Judy Rachels) was preaching about the importance of praying for our children. She shared honestly about the sorrow we feel when someone close to us is not following the Lord. I listened as she told about going in to her teen-aged son's room to make up his bed. She had been praying for months that he would turn his heart over to God and it seemed that things had only grown worse between them. In despair she just laid down on his bed and began to weep.

When her tears subsided, she looked up at the view her son looked at every night. Suddenly, God began to help shift her perspective in a very subtle way. Recent arguments with him came to her mind, words spoken in anger and haste, lines drawn - she relived it all. And lying there, she began to see him differently.

The situation did not change right then, but her perspective changed as she became willing to look at her son with different eyes. And eventually, he did become the son she was longing for; all because of a shift in perspective.

Thinking back over that story made me examine my own thoughts again today. It's so easy to get locked into a way of thinking and to decide that "the way I see it" is the only way to see it. Wow, what a dead-end road of reasoning!

Stubbornness should never be mistaken for tenacity. (I'm thankful that my family only reads these and doesn't post comments! smile.) I want the greater reality of my life to be that my heart is totally pliable, my thoughts genuinely ruled by my Heavenly Father. He does, after all have the best perspective.

Try it at some point this week. Switch seats (literally and figuratively). The new view may be life-changing!

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