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Perspective AND Preparation

Have you ever found yourself looking the wrong way when something great happens and you totally missed it? I have and it just bums me out when that happens because everyone who actually saw whatever it was proclaim over and over how awesome it was and how terrible it was that I missed it! It wasn't like I missed it on purpose, people! I just had my attention on something else. In today's world of 'rewind' and 'replay' features on almost everything, it is possible to 'go back' to catch what we miss in a video or even on live TV, but in real life those features are seldom at our disposal. You ever find yourself with your attention on 'something else' and wish you had a 'replay' button so you could 'catch up' with the rest of your friends? Ever wish you could just 'rewind' so you wouldn't miss out on all that stuff you wish now you never had missed? I think this is why God always asks us to keep our focus 'forward' - totally focused on him - not looking back - so we don't miss out!

Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness. (2 Peter 3:11)

Perspective often determines our direction, doesn't it? How we see things in life isn't always a matter of us being right or someone else being wrong - it is where we are in life when the matter comes our way. I live in a flight path for some pretty awesome old planes that fly out of one or two of our local small airparks and whenever I hear those things grinding away above me, I like to run outside to see if I can spot them. The problem is that the noise echoes and I don't always know it they are flying North or South. I have to scan quickly and attempt to figure out the direction of the planes if I am to catch their tight formation and see the wonder of those huge bombers, fighter planes, and cargo planes overhead. Then I have to clear the trees and attempt to catch as much blue sky as I can take in. If I go out into my backyard, that isn't much because I have 3 large trees, but my back fence is lined with even more trees on the opposite side of the fence. My view is limited - my perspective between front yard and backyard is way different!

The front yard view is wide open, with only one large tree blocking my view. While it presents less 'challenges' for viewing the planes, I am not always 'prepared' to be seen out front! My hair may be a mess, I may be in lounge wear, or I have no shoes on and the sidewalks in Arizona get doggone hot in the summer months! Perspective matters, doesn't it? But...preparation also matters! We can have the right perspective, but be unprepared for what it is we are beholding. Whenever we find ourselves unprepared, we can also find ourselves unable to stay focused. Hot sidewalks burning into the soft tissue of my feet deters me from wanting to stand there too long to actually observe those planes. I often 'break off' the viewing because I cannot stand the heat! If we want to be ready at all times, it takes some preparation, doesn't it? I have to actually put shoes on each day - something I really hate to do because I love to just walk around in bare feet in the summer and stocking feet in the winter. I am not a shoe person!

Our preparation is probably as important as our perspective. We can have all the right focus in life, but if we aren't prepared for what is in front of us, we will shy away from whatever lies ahead! We need the preparation that comes from having 'first things first' in our lives - like Jesus, family, and friends. Then we need to add the preparation that comes from getting to know Jesus, family and friends on a more 'intimate' level. Getting to know family may be easier than getting to know Jesus, my friends! Why is that? We have to actually learn to 'live with' him - our families we already live with! We welcome him into our lives and we need to get used to having him around. Then we need to make specific space for him within our lives. We may have a limited perspective of him until we give him more than a place in the corner of our lives, though! He needs full-access - the run of the place, so to speak. In time, we get very familiar with how he moves, what he focuses on, and what his voice sounds like. We even get to know the sounds of his movement without even hearing his voice. We cannot bypass preparation in pursuit of perspective. We need both. Just sayin!

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