Monday, July 04, 2005

Perspectives

After reading that Charlotte was going to be offline for a while and reading a poem in my Bible notes, something became clear to me this afternoon. It's something I've known for a while, but it was reaffirmed when I was praying.

We need dual perspectives in our lives. I'll give you two examples:

Firstly, imagine you are a tourist walking through a sprawling metropolis. You are unfamiliar with your surroundings. There are people bumping into you, and you are surrounded by a manic network of intersecting streets and tight alleyways. Visualise two or three landmarks you want to get to. You may know roughly which way you need to go, but its easy to lose your sense of direction with all the twists and turns. You have to admit, you are getting lost. Now I want you to imagine that instead of going north, south, east or west; you go... up. As you rise above the heads and shoulders of the businessmen and shoppers around you, you see down the road ahead of you. More than this, as you rise above the rooftops... you see in the distance, the places you want/need to get to in life. When you come back down, you'll have a fresh view of where you are going... and you are filled with new purpose.

Again, it is like an artist who is a set designer. You have a huge canvas in front of you, and you need to be right up against it to carry out the work. Yet, if you do not occasionally step right back from it and review the "big picture", you will not have a good idea of how the painting is taking shape... or what you need to do to put things right, to make it work.

The point I'm making here is simple and yet in the mundane turmoil of our everyday existence, it is so easy to lose sight of it.

Sometimes, we need to take time out and spend time with God, to recharge our batteries and to get a fresh glimpse of where we are going. Equally, when God has given us nourishment and direction, we need to follow along the path he points us. We need to both step back and appreciate the grand scheme of things, and then we have to return to our place in time and space... committing our hearts and hands to the long road ahead.

You need both perspectives. That's all I feel I need to say, but if you are happy to read on...

Let's take a look at the prophet Elijah. At Mount Carmel, he had just witnessed the greatest barbecue of all time at Mount Carmel. He had proclaimed God's judgement on the wicked prophets of Baal, and had witnessed firsthand, the power of God. His opponents were being routed and yet despite all this, he still felt afraid:

"Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

And the word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.""


You see, it was only after Elijah took time out... that he was able to commune with God and understand what the next move both for himself as an individual and Israel as a people, was. We all need to recharge our batteries at times, physical, mental and especially spiritual.

Make sure you take time out... even if it's not much, give some time over to meditate on God.

No comments:

Post a comment

The ideas and thoughts represented in this page's plain text are unless otherwise stated reserved for the author. Please feel free to copy anything that inspires you, but provide a link to the original author when doing so.
Share your links easily.