Isn’t it interesting how two people can look at the same thing and react differently? Even their descriptions can be different and the emotional responses completely opposite! “Reality can be so complex that equally valid observations from differing perspectives can appear to be contradictory.” ( I read this quote recently on a cartoon, but I’m not sure where it originated.)
You have probably experienced this yourself. You know, where each one is positive they are right and the other is absolutely wrong! In reality, the truth is probably somewhere in between.
The way we see things is sometimes skewed by past experiences, prejudices, fears, emotions, or positional viewpoints. I read a simple example of this in a story about two children who were arguing about which one was right on the playground at school. The teacher took them inside to her classroom, set a ball on a desk between them and asked each one to name the color of the ball. One said it was red and the other said it was blue. An argument again ensued until the teacher had them switch sides and had them name the color again. To their surprise, the ball was red on one side and blue on the other. It was an enlightening lesson that taught them that perspective matters!
How you choose to view something can make the difference between hope and despair; achievement or disaster; victory or defeat. You can look at something from your own perspective only, or you can look at it from all sides before taking a stand or making a decision that can be harmful or ruinous to yourself or others. Or it may simply be the difference between having a good day or a bad day. One person may get up on a rainy morning and grumble while their sick neighbor may simply be happy that God has given them one more day.
What got me thinking about this was the passage of Scripture in Ezra 3:11-13 describing the rebuilding of the temple. Verse twelve says, “But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.” What a contrast! The older folks were looking at the past while others were looking forward to the future!
If we’re not careful, we can be guilty of the same: looking back at “the good ol’ days” and how things used to be, and neglecting to see what is happening today and what is in store for the future. We can bemoan the loss of old-fashioned brush arbors and tent revivals and not see what God is doing today and the possibilities of the future. Culture may change, but God never changes. He has promised that He will build His church and the very powers of hell cannot stop Him. So are we trusting God with that? Are we looking at the younger generation and focusing on the many that are actively involved in ministry, missions, and Kingdom work in unprecedented numbers? I am, and I am thrilled with what I am seeing. It may not be happening in your church right now, but it can if you will choose to change your perspective and begin to believe in our youth, encourage them, and allow them to be active and involved.
I choose to see a great move of God and have hope for the future . . .