The older I get and the more I remember my past I am starting to value perspective more and more. If I believe something passionately now I realize that in a few years it’ll probably be something else, if not a few months. If I see a situation unfolding now that I don’t like its outcome I know that it will eventually work itself out. Somehow having a perspective of time further than your current situation brings peace to my mind. Problems, death, unfortunate events all seem to be easier the more I understand perspective.
There is something about knowing that everything resolves in a movie that makes a movie easier to watch. You watch the main character get the crap beat out of him, taken advantage of and the girl leaves him but you always know by the end of the movie he will beat the crap out of the same people (or at least get them life-sentence in prison), humiliate them and get a hotter girl. For some reason though, with our lives, we never have the same assurance. We treat every situation as if life revolves around it getting fixed at that exact moment when instead maybe it’s better to just have faith like we do in the movies, that eventually it will work itself out. Maybe we don’t know how, maybe it’s a surprise ending or something else that we weren’t expecting, but at least we know it is always moving forward. It never stays in the same place. Why do we always live like the current moment is the only one? Maybe it’s a ‘carpe diem’ philosophy of some sort, which certainly has its positives. However it says to seize the day, not be so infatuated with it that you forget about what happened before or what could happen next.
When I take this sort of thinking into history, I’m even more amazed at the peace I’m given. When I look at church denominations and how ridiculous they can be I need to keep in mind who they are and where they come from. I look at Bush now and I know that eventually, in twenty years or so he will be a president that the high school kids are memorizing for a test and they will be passionate about the topics of their time. This is what theological arguments are too me sometimes, I feel like we get all wrapped up in a few topics without realizing that they have evolved over thousands of years and they will continue. Our debates about objective truth, worship styles and the emerging church now will be unheard of in a hundred years or so just like the Christian debates of the first century of eating meat sacrificed to idols are extinct now.
Perspective with individuals is the most important I think. We are able to take a narrow, single experience of someone and decide upon their entire character somehow. This is why first impressions are such a big deal to us, because we are unable to have perspective with people. We somehow encapsulate someone’s entire being in a few small moments without any chance to see the entire picture. I see it and do it almost every day. I still stand convinced that there is not a person in their entire world that we wouldn’t love if we knew their entire story. Our hate usually rests in our inability to care or know anything more about those we dislike.
This gives me two things. For one, it gives me peace because I know that life is evolving and always changing and that really my place right now isn’t anything to freak out about. Second, it tells me that my place right now is extremely important and that I need to live for truth and love to the best of my ability because my mistakes or accomplishments now will pave roads or build walls for those in the future. Perspective is everything in almost every situation. In a time-infested life which we live, we would be naïve to look at one moment individually without any regard for what came before it and after it. This post even has some sort of perspective. This would make a lot more sense to someone who has been reading this blog for a few years than it would for someone who stumbled across it through Google. Hopefully we can be a people that remembers to keep things in perspective because perspective will give us grace and discernment, two qualities we can’t get enough of.