My son Peter and I were out on a jet ski the other day, wandering the waters of Coconut Grove. Perspectives are different from the water – the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity looked huge while Viscaya looked small. For those of you who don’t know the Grove, the Shrine is next to Mercy Hospital, all of which is on a property once owned by James Deering, whose home (Viscaya) is now a County park and museum. James Deering started the tractor company International Harvester, and had more money than sense. When you walk the estate, and you look at the house and the boat/island he built, it all looks huge. From the water, not so much. I’m sure our distance had something to do with it, but the point is, perspectives can change our impressions.
The visual games continued when we stopped on an island to go swimming. Boats of all sizes were going by, but the coolest thing was to watch seaplanes land. A while earlier one had kind of surprised us, landing (I think the technical term is "alighting") to the right side of us. Another one came in while we swam, and as it came towards us, we figured its landing distance would be short. Well, as it came towards us, it seemed to travel a lot farther (closer) than we thought. It’s all a matter of perspective – I’m sure the pilot considered us way off in the distance.
Today I saw for the first time a picture that was actually taken in January of 2014. It’s a photo of Earth, and our moon, taken from Mars(you can see it here). Our beautiful blue Earth looks like just one more star from Mars, brighter than our moon of course, but nothing out of the ordinary.
When I think about Isaiah 55:8-9 (printed below), I can’t help but say "Well, yeah!!" Things look different for me just roving around this world. Not just the objects I’ve described above, but (and more importantly) the circumstances and events of our lives. Many of us Methodist pastors are going to move this June. At the beginning of the process, this was a daunting, and scary proposition. As time has gone on, the way has gotten clearer, the questions are getting answered, and the provision of God has become most evident. God Himself isn’t confined to the timeline of these events like we are. Circumstances don’t unfold for God. Like a quantum computer, God processes everything at the same time. His perspective is not linear like ours, His ways are, well, as the Bible says, higher than ours.
I have a couple of reactions to this. One is that I am grateful that God sees things differently. His provision for my life throughout the years has been amazing. I am humbled by the fact that God has decided to intervene in my life, again, throughout the years, but especially in the transitions of life. And I am sorry. I am sorry that I doubt him when those difficult circumstances encroach on my life. His grace is amazing. Always has been, always will be.
So, let’s appreciate the different perspectives. Let’s learn to trust God with our lives. And let’s never stop marveling at who God is, and all that He has done.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.