Recently I was blessed to be able to take a brief trip to Chicago with my closest friend and her sister. You see, my friend lives on the other side of the globe and we typically only see each other for a few days each year. Needless to say, we do our best to pack a lot of fun into those few days and enjoy the time we do have together before she heads back across the ocean. Hence, this Chicago trip.
During the few days that we were there, we did our best to hit all the “biggies” that tourist typically visit – Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Willis Tower (formerly Sears’ Tower), the John Hancock Center, The Art Institute of Chicago, a Cubs’ game at Wrigley Field, the Magnificent Mile, etc. And of course we ate Chicago pizza and Chicago hot dogs! (And we just MIGHT have found an amazing cupcake place and visited it TWICE?!?!) And mixed in with all this touring, there was lots of laughing and talking and memory-making that took place.
However, during those days I could sense the Lord quietly reminding me of something…..perspective.
The first afternoon we were there, we decided to visit Navy Pier. It was overcast and windy (of course) and off and on we had some light rain, but we enjoyed our time meandering along the pier and just visiting, thankful to all be together. When we eventually made it to the end of the pier, we turned around and could see a great view of Chicago! Being our first day and all, we were trying to figure out which tall building was which. And even the next morning, at Shedd Aquarium, we were a little ways out from downtown and had an amazing view of the city and all its’ architecture.
However, once we were downtown, and walking around at ground level, the city looked TOTALLY different! It was hard to tell which building was which and even harder to get our bearings, because the buildings were so close to us. And some of them just seemed huge!
While we were there, we had the opportunity to go to the top of a couple of those huge buildings and again, the perspective changed! It was easy to figure out where we were and where we had been, simply because we had a different viewpoint.
And so it is with life.
It seems that at times, when we are in the middle of something-whether it’s a trial or just the chaos of life-we tend to lose perspective. It’s easy to become consumed with whatever is looming over us at the moment and lose sight of the bigger picture.
So what do we do when that happens?
Personally, I’ve found that my perspective (or lack of perspective) is directly related to my daily walk with Christ. For me, when I discover that I’ve lost my perspective, I know I need to find a way to get away, change my scenery, and spend some time alone with Him. And during that time, let Him remind me of the bigger picture.
- Ask yourself, “What is God’s perspective on this?”
- Search the Scripture for wisdom and encouragement
- Ask yourself, “How can I see things differently?”
- Pray and ask Him to give you godly insight
2 Cor. 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Of course, “changing our scenery” isn’t always going to be a four-day trip to Chicago. (Although trips and vacations are a great time to think about perspective.) Some days it may look more like locking yourself in your bedroom for 15 minutes of quiet, alone time! Or maybe slipping out to the backyard one evening. Or finding an hour to go sit at a favorite coffee shop, park, or the library. Different seasons of life may dictate when and how we can “change our scenery.” But the important thing is to find a time and a place every now and then to just get away, even for a few minutes, and let Him remind you of His perspective. Even Jesus, on his busiest day, found time to get alone with his Father. How much more do I need that?