I attend a business networking meeting weekly. This week, the conference room in which we meet was decorated in a fun, tiki-island theme for a children’s program that was to begin shortly after we left. I arrived early to find strings of shells serving as a curtain at the doorway, a tiki-bar just past the shell curtain (used as a registration booth, no doubt), lots of netting, and colorful posters and table cloths. Arriving early also afforded me the opportunity to watch as others arrived. Reactions varied considerably from “How fun!” to “What the…..?” There was the woman who saw the theme and started dancing and the man whose sour expression showed his disapproval. (I wonder – was his disapproval at the foolishness of the decorations, at our use of the room while it was decorated for the children’s program, or something I wouldn’t imagine. Or perhaps his expression was simply revealing his insecurity at walking into the transformed room and I interpreted it as disapproval. Perhaps I should have asked him.)

It was fascinating to watch each person arrive at the meeting, and God used it to reinforce a theme he seems to be hammering into me lately: It’s all about our perspective, and our perspective is affected by and affects our attitude.

Perspective has a lot to do with what lens through which we’re viewing life.

Most of the time I need to use the super-wide angle lens. When looking through this lens, I can see the bigger picture and I often ask the question “in light of eternity, what does it matter?” Most of life’s little annoyances melt into the background when eternity is in the foreground.

When things get really tough, I have to switch to the more focused lens – the one that allows me to see only one thing, and that Thing must be Jesus. If I focus on the issues at hand, my world dissolves into chaos of one sort or another – questions that begin with “how” and “when” and “who” and “why,” and statements that begin with “if” can quickly turn my mind and emotions into a chaotic jungle of twisted vines and branches. That’s when the single lens is needed – the one that looks at the single, true Vine.

If you’re Resting at the River’s Edge with us, you read the following verses this week:

          16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
                    2 Corinthians 4:16-18

What a wonderful passage! “Therefore, we do not lose heart!” It can be easy to lose heart when we focus on the world around us. Paul gives the secret for not losing heart – “we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Lord, help me to see the unseen, to capture it in my spirit, and to let it serve always as the lens through which I walk through life. Yes, I maybe wasting away inwardly, whether from the stresses of life or simply from growing older, but let me always be renewed day by day as I focus on You and not on the circumstances of my life.

I want to be one of the people who walks through the door and says “How fun!” I want to be one of the people who sees the unexpected changes in my surroundings and enjoys them! I want to experience my life as part of the great adventure God has for me here on earth. That is the perspective, the lens, through which I want to see and live life. Will you join me?

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