Skip to main content

it's all a matter of perspective

wow.  that's amazing.  how is that guy holding the sun? 

of course this is a ridiculous question because as you look at this picture your brain is able to do the necessary calculations to determine that what you are seeing here is actually physically impossible, but is instead a visual trick based on the position of the sun, the man, and you.

it's all a matter of perspective. 

and it really is.  my dad used to say this line all the time when we were growing up.  i would be fiercely trying to defend my black and white, categorized version of the world and dad would sometimes simply shrug and say, "it's all a matter of perspective." 

i hated that, but as i have gotten older, i have...well....changed my perspective on that.  i think he's right.  things can look very different depending on where you are standing.  take a look at this, for example.  how comfortable would you be using this bathroom?

i mean, who wants to use a toilet with glass walls in the middle of the city?  no way you drop your pants here (if so, you have other issues you probably need to sort out).  but what if you look at it the whole thing from another angle.  here's a picture from outside the bathroom. 

that's right.  it is made of mirrors.  one way mirrors, to be exact.  what looked to be see-through from the inside is actually impossible to see through from the outside.  just a silly example, but the world is full of situations that seem to look one way from where you are standing, but might look entirely different if you
would only move a bit.  it's all a matter of perspective. 

tonight at our reel life: discussions on film and faith program we'll be viewing the film vantage point, which is the story of an assassanation attempt as seen through the eyes of several different witnesses.  each time we see the events played out from a different perspective we get more and different information.  fascinatingly, no one really has the complete story.  it is only by combining all the different perspectives that we get a full version of the story. 

all of this is really interesting when i look at it through a safely objective lens, but what happens if i aim that lens at me?  what if i move from discussing a truth to asking myself the difficult question about how it is true for me?  what happens if i ask myself the question: how does my own perspective affect the way i understand and treat others?  do i adequately leave room for the way others may be viewing things from their perspectives? 

so think about a particularly difficult or annoying situation/person in your life right now.  have you stopped to consider where you're standing?  what's your vantage point?  what about another character in the story?  have you tried standing where they are?  how does that change the outlook?  i recommend you do this before forming impassioned and "objectively true" opinions that you treat as gospel.  walk around the situation first.  get a different look at it.  and remember, as dad always used to say, "it's all a matter of perspective." 


Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

vote. and pray. but do not be afraid (the King is alive).

i'm not sure how many americans right now are feeling optimistic about the government.  i know i'm not.  in fact, while i didn't live through the civil war or anything, i have to think that faith in our elected leaders - indeed the whole system of electing them in the first place - is at one of its lowest points.  i just don't have a great deal of confidence in those individuals who have been elected, or in those who want to be.  i find myself slipping at times into what feels like a swamp of apathy: sinking, to be sure, but not sure that i care enough anymore to do much about it.  i see this attitude all around me: in conversations, on social media, and in popular culture.  perhaps there is no more clear indication of our nation's view of the government than this current election season, when we would teeter on electing liars and thieves, crooks and clowns. 

which is why i was so startled as i sat down to read psalm 72 this morning. as i read the ancient song, i…