Reassessing My Perspective

I have just returned from two conferences. The first was in Washington D.C.
The second was in Dallas, Texas. It took four airplanes and lots of sky miles, but I
arrived at each destination safely and on time. There is nothing like an airplane ride to
change one’s perspective of time, space, size, proportions, reality, relevance, security,
power . . . need I continue? What I usually see and the way I usually see it develops my
perspective of life.
What do I usually see? Well, that constitutes those things between my house and
the grocery store, school, church, and bank. (That is not to exclude the occasional, and
oh so needed, trip to the mall!) And, what is the way I usually see it? I see life revolving
around my family, my needs, my schedule, and me. Just about the time when the
orbiting bodies in my egocentric world are ready to lose their orbits and come spinning
down on top of me, I am rescued by an airplane ride.
Oh, the plane may not be an actual jet or the destination a literal distant city.
Instead, the vehicle may be a frantic telephone call and the distant place may be the
trauma of a friend’s life. But, suddenly my perspective is changed. I suppose I could
view someone else’s problem as a further burden in my already crowded schedule. If I
do, I am pulling them into my world. Or, I can allow this interruption in my daily routine
to transport me away from ‘what usually I see’ and the ‘way I usually see it’ into a
perspective of life which embraces another man’s hopes, dreams, sorrows and
Here, from a new vantage point, I see life - my life - very differently. Investing
into another at the time of their need brings my needs into a different frame of reference.
Had I forgotten to be grateful for the lovely house that required cleaning, the healthy
children that demanded attention, the steady job and income that necessitated my labor?
Sharing another man’s disappointments fills my heart with compassion, leaving
insufficient room for self-pity. Even rejoicing in another man’s victory spills new hope
and joy upon my own expectations.
Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan is much more than the tale of a man who
needed help and a man who gave the help. It is a story of three men who, when offered
an opportunity to change the narrow perspectives of their lives, refused. However, one
Samaritan boarded the plane of brotherly kindness and took a trip into someone else’s
world. Maybe Jesus was not offering us a cure for the needs of our neighbor as much as
He was delivering to us the prescription for the ills of our own narrow perspectives.

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Article of the Week

The Girl that Nobody Wanted

    After entering into the employment of his uncle Laban, Jacob saw Rachel, Laban’s beautiful daughter.  A dowry of seven years of labor for Rachel’s hand in marriage was agreed upon.  Jacob willingly labored for his love believing that he could finally be satisfied by.... Read More

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