This morning’s thoughts are all about perspective.
First, Rebekah read an interesting news article before breakfast that discussed how the structure of the language we use influences the way our minds work. I’ve written about this before (The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian) in terms of using the language of grace to literally transform the way that we think, and then how we consequently act.
The science of linguistics and anthropology is actually applying this line of thinking to entire language-based cultures (English, German, French, Russian etc…) to understand the relationship between the meaning of words and how people tend to think/plan/act.
It’s no surprise to me, then, that today’s Upper Room Daily Devotional reading was Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
PERSPECTIVE: Another way we experience transformation is via shifts in our perspective. That’s why it’s so hard for some people to even acknowledge what’s going on in the world around them – they’re fearful that any fresh look will shift their perspective. But – and if I have time I’ll include a few photographs as examples (maybe tomorrow) – the way we look at the world we inhabit and the point of view we bring to our looking/thinking/acting not only changes what we see, it changes who we are, and who we are becoming.
Consequently, I couldn’t read this morning’s scripture without thinking about three facts in the world around me.
- It’s September 11, and the repercussions of what happened that terrible day in 2001 are front and center in many ways.
- I looked at an update facebook post from my Pensacola friend, Lucy. Her young granddaughter, Carolyn, is struggling mightily with harsh cancer treatments that have (this week at least) chased the beautiful smile from her face. I cannot think, or pray, without that perspective in my heart.
- I received an email from one of my Brandon friends, Bruce. This time last week, doctors amputated one of Bruce’s legs. He has a wonderful young family, and a “can-do” attitude that won’t quit. Talk about perspective; how can I think about Bruce and not change?
So when I started to gripe about the cable repair guy showing up at 7:30 this morning, I was unable to sustain my poor attitude about the inconvenience for more than 30-seconds. Why? Perspective.
I am being transformed daily, and in many ways. I’m changed through scripture, through prayer, through relationships, through the stories of real people, through shifts in perspective. God is constantly challenging me and changing me.
If I am deliberate in pouring all of my experiences through the filter of “live like I mean it,” and “I’m always open to learn something new,” and “It’s possible I have something to learn if I keep my eyes open,” and “I’m a follower of the living way of Jesus,” then I cannot help but be changed.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)