Perspective: It Changes Everything

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Life Lessons, Thoughts, Uncategorized
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Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost but now am found twas blind but now I see. 

As some of you read the first line of the hymn “Amazing Grace” you started singing the hymn or quietly humming it in your head.  Maybe you recalled the other lines of this song that were penned so long ago by the great hymn writer, John Newton

Yet for some of you the grace is not so amazing anymore.  In fact maybe it has become run of the mill and bit boring.  Sure you acknowledge its existence but fail to recognize it with any enthusiasm much less amazement.  Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself a bit.  I should probably start by sharing a simple definition of grace.  Grace is easily defined as unmerited favor.  In the context of Christianity we often refer to God’s grace.  Meaning God’s unmerited favor that is directed towards humanity by sending His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins which results in salvation.  The day I got this concept I was amazed.  I was overcome and overwhelmed by God’s goodness and that He would sacrifice His son for a person like me. 

Like many of you reading this today, I have lived close to Niagara Falls for most of my life.  I have been the falls dozens of times in my life and many times I have gone to the city and not bothered to even go and look at the falls.  I suppose my attitude has gone to the been there done that routine. 

This summer has changed my perspective somewhat on the falls.  I have made two trips to the falls.  The first trip was for a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist with my wife.  I promised her when we still dating that I would take her to the falls and that we would go on the Maid of the Mist.  She didn’t realize then that my promise would take eleven years to happen but I am a man of my word and I never did attach a timeline to my promise. 

The second trip I took was for my daughter’s birthday.  Each year we ask our children if there is anything special that they would like to do for their birthdays.   This year for my daughters sixth birthday she requested a trip to Niagara Falls. 

The sense of wonder and awe that I saw in the faces of my three little children was a reminder to me of the awe I once felt when I first visited the falls many years ago.  I was further reminded of this when I saw the many people who had traveled all the way from different parts of Asia and Europe to view something that was only 30 miles down the road from my home.  These people traveled from the other side of the globe to see something that I had become indifferent about. 

Reality set in.  The falls had not changed, but my perspective had.  The same is true of our God and us.  Perhaps you no longer see Him as you once did.  He has not changed rather, it is your perspective. 

The power of Niagara Falls can be almost overwhelming when you stand on boat located just below the falls in the Niagara River.  The beauty of the falls can be seen when you look into the face of a child or tourist who is viewing the falls for the very first time.  Your perspective on something can change everything.

I needed a new perspective of Niagara Falls to once again appreciate its beauty and its power.  Yet some of you need a new perspective on God and His grace to once again appreciate His beauty and His power.  You may feel alone in this endeavor.  Rest assured you are not alone.  It has happened too many before you  and will happen to many in the future.  The key is that you recognize that you need a new perspective.

Some of the things I do on a regular basis to have a perspective shift on my God include three things: reading, listening, and asking. 

Reading:  I read many Christian authors.  They give me new ideas and insights from their point of view.  It helps me see what others think and how they apply God’s Word.  It keeps me fresh when I might by myself get stale.

Listening: I regularly listen to my pastor on Sunday morning and listen to other preachers or teachers while I am driving in my car.  Currently I have a series of CD’s in my car that is an expository set of messages that were preached by James McDonald on the book of Philippians.  Again, like reading, my listening to others widens my perspective.

Asking:  I purposefully maintain contact with many men in my life that I view as Godly.  I ask them questions about life and pursue their counsel on a regular basis.  I want to know what they think about not just my trials but also about my victories.  This allows me to once again widen my perspective and open me up to new thoughts and ideas rather than stayed focused on my own limited perspective.  

(I recongnize that Scripture reading, prayer, and fellowship with believers was omitted.  I have made the grand assumption, that they were already being done so don’t get mad at me:)

  1. Robin Morse says:

    Excellent reminder Jon!


  2. Lisa Long says:

    Excellent analogy…and reminder! Thank you.


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