It is all a matter of PERSPECTIVE… how you see the situation always determines how you behave in it. Everyday we move in one direction or another determined by how we perceive the situation and the surrounding circumstances. Late last night (a cold and rainy night here is St. Louis), I was driving on a semi-rural road thinking that it was dry and safe. Actually, almost all of it was dry and safe… except for one spot near an intersection where, even in 4-wheel drive, I started to slide sideways for a little bit. Thankfully, I hit dry pavement again and my control was reestablished. I thought the road was dry so I drove at a ‘normal’ speed, but actually, there were dangerous patches that suggested I slow down to be safe.
Our lives are similar. Much of our lives are dry safe roads. Some of it, however, is slippery and more dangerous than we realize. Rather than sitting at home, afraid to venture out, we simply need to have a realistic perspective of reality. In all of the ‘goods’ and ‘bads’, ‘highs’ and lows’, victories’ and ‘defeats’ of our daily lives, we have to wrestle with whether our perspective includes God or not. Is He real and does He care? Is He interested and able to, not only enter into our situation, but actually work it out?
If there is no God, or if He is disinterested in us, then we are left to ourselves to figure out how to live. On one level, that sounds great to many people. To be autonomous and to be able to self determine life is very attractive to some. Unfortunately, I do this all to often. However, when I step back just half a step and look at the brokenness of my world and of my own heart, I am painfully disillusioned with being self-sufficient and self-determined. I am left hungering for the transcendent presence of the God revealed in the Old and New Testaments. He is the God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the God who deeply loves with an integration of grace of truth over the length of time it takes for me to engage. He is the God who embodies both mercy and justice. He is the God who cares for the widow, the homeless and the fatherless. He is the God who never gives up on us. He is the God who makes sense out of suffering. He is the God who allows us to go through all sorts of stuff in order to grow us! He is the God who encourages us with the model of mature people around us and with their generosity. He is the God who shows up and changes everything.
This week will will wrap up our look at Philippians and continue to try to see life from God’s perspective.