Perspective

USCGC Rush

How we see things is determined by our perspective.  For instance, you can’t tell how long a pencil is if you’re staring at it from the eraser end.  You also cannot tell how large a room is if you’re sitting in that room in total darkness.  Have you ever stood at the edge of a high, scenic overlook and looked out over a large city?  The complexity of the street layout and the character of the neighborhoods is impossible to see from that vantage point.  In a jet flying along at thirty thousand feet, a person can see entire counties, but the horizon still conceals what lies just beyond the place where it meets the sky.

Have you ever held an 1,800 foot tall building in your hand?  How about the sun?  A favorite beach photo is one of me and my friends “holding up” the setting sun in an attempt to keep it from sinking into the ocean.  From the right spot in Lake Ontario, you can “hold” the CN Tower between your thumb and index finger.  The same can be done with the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty.  This is amazing considering when you’re standing at the base of the CN Tower, it’s so huge you can’t lean back far enough to see the top of it!

Maybe that’s it.  When we’re really close to things, they look bigger; maybe even bigger than they really are.  This can make intimidating things look absolutely life-threatening.  From 60 feet up on the navigational bridge of the ships I worked on, 30 foot seas looked big, but our ship was still bigger.  However, when I got in the ship’s small boat and was lowered over the side to go board another vessel, once in the water, those waves looked MUCH bigger.  As we piloted our Zodiac Rigid Hull Inflatable away from our nearly 400 foot ship, the ship got smaller and the waves got bigger; or so it appeared.  That’s because we were now bouncing through waves as big as we were!  We had changed our perspective in relationship to the waves, which remained the same size.  While flying over the same scene aboard a C-130 during a reconnaissance flight, everything below looked tiny and those 30 foot waves looked like ripples in a glass of water.  Unfortunately, the thunderheads that were very near us appeared MUCH bigger than they had seemed from the ocean’s surface.

What about an even higher perspective?  I wonder if God ever stretches out His arm, makes a “C shape” with His thumb and index finger and looks at our “planet-sized” problems between that thumb and finger the same way we look at the Washington Monument, the CN Tower or the Statue of Liberty while playing “tourist” when we travel.  Those landmarks look SO small when we look at them between our fingers, or when a friend takes a photo of one of us holding one of those landmarks in the palm of our hand.  It’s a fun perspective trick.  But with God, it’s no trick.  He really CAN hold our biggest problems between his fingers or in the palm of his hand because He is above all and sovereign over all.

© 2017 Curt Savage Media

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