The Larger Perspective
The wisdom and glory of God are due, in part, to view events from an eternal perspective and judge their consequences by that much more accurate perspective. As humans, we do not have this ability to the degree that God does, but we can, to some small degree, make use of this divine attribute of perspective. The ability to see things from different perspectives is one characteristic which sets humans apart from other creatures, and that extended perspective is one of our most useful vantage points.
When a farmer plows a field, he is not usually watching the ground in front of him. He is focusing on a fixed point at the end of the field to get a longer perspective on his work and to keep his rows straight.
The draftsman at his desk or the carpenter at his craft find that the longer the measuring device, the more accurate is his calculation.
The best way for an explorer to make his way through the enchanted wilderness is by keeping watch on a distant landmark. If he were to concentrate on that area right at his feet, he would soon be traveling in circles.
When ancient seafarers learned to take their bearing from the far perspective of the stars, new worlds opened up to them.
A long perspective is not only a handy tool for guidance, navigation, agriculture and architecture. If it is applied to our lives, a lengthy perspective can give us valuable direction and wisdom.
It is not often that we make bad decisions from taking too long a perspective. Most often it is because we don't. Most often we don't look far enough ahead to see the implications of our actions and wind up diverted by our immediate needs and desires. Very often, we waste our strength in endless side paths and activities that may seem momentarily important but don't contribute to long term progress. In fact they might even contribute to our difficulties and discomfort. For instance, the joy of owning a new possession may lead to the long-term burden of debt. The short term pleasure of idleness and procrastination may produce long term frustration and failure as we find ourselves unable to face later challenges. Giving in to momentary pleasures of our appetites can subject us to long-term health problems, and giving in to dubious satisfactions of sin can, in the end, stop our spiritual growth and development.
On the other hand, once we establish a long-term goal, amazing things can happen to our progress. Our mind can then become an internal guidance system, directing us to distant goals.
If we align our distant goals with the eternal perspective of God, we will feel the peace and satisfaction of knowing that at no time in the future will we look back in sorrow and wish that we had done things differently. We will be content that our thoughts and actions are taking us where we ultimately want to go and that the Lord can and will help us get there.
Rev. Hans Lillejord