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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

February 22, 2012 - Perspective

By Jeff Sandstrom

You know how people say, “It’s a small world”? That expression baffles me. I know people say that because they meet someone who knows a friend who knows a guy who knows an aunt who met their first dog’s owner. But to say that we live in a small world causes me to be perplexed.

I was visiting Alaska and walking back to my resort from a local coffee shop. As my iPod filled my head with the sounds of Angels and Airwaves (yes, that’s a band) I was in my own small world. I saw the sidewalk, the streetlight, and the very few cars going by, and the stores, and the hotels. I saw everything in my small world.


But while I stopped at a crosswalk something very simple and at the same time remarkable happened. I discovered a whole new world. Above the cars and the shops and the streetlights and the roof of the hotels, I noticed something beautiful.

The landscape in the background was filled with snow-capped mountains that left me in complete awe. The weird thing is that I had walked almost all the way back to the resort and I was so much in my own world that at first I didn’t even notice.

I didn’t even notice.

I was so involved with my “small world” that I had forgotten about where I was. The Last Frontier, the wonders of mountains and glaciers and moose and bear country, became a nonchalant stroll home after a cup of joe.

Perspective is a point of view. A way in which you see things. The funny thing is, everybody sees things differently — even if they’re looking at the exact same thing. Everything that makes us who we are causes our perspective to be shifted a little bit this way or that.

This causes conflict.

Because people don’t always see things the same way.

Jesus stressed the importance of perspective to the disciples in the Gospels. He explained the purpose for His parables and said something unique to the disciples right before He started talking about how the seed falls on all the different types of soil and what happens to the seed because of the different places.

He said, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that ‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven’” (Mark 4:11,12, ESV).

Why would Jesus tell the disciples things at face value but talk in parables to everyone else? Were the disciples part of some secret club? Were they Jesus’ favorites? Did Jesus have favorites? No. The disciples were in a different place; they had a different perspective.

Jesus was telling them they had insight and they knew how the Kingdom works. But to those who can’t see yet, He tells stories, stories that are creating a readiness, nudging them toward a receptive insight.

For people whose eyes are open but don’t see a thing …

Whose ears are open but don’t understand a word …

When our world is small, Jesus points us to a bigger perspective.

Because perspective — especially His perspective — is everything.

Whether it’s conflict with another person or conflict within yourself — you can overcome anything with the right perspective.

Sometimes when all you see are cars and streets lights … its as easy as just looking up.

— Jeff and Ericka Sandstrom serve as associate pastors at 360Church, an Assemblies of God church plant in Berkeley, Calif. (Earl and Jan Creps, lead pastors).



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