Thursday, March 08, 2012

A Little Matter of Perspective

Last night Nighean Gheal and I were praying. As we were going through our prayer requests, she included people that had been affected by the recent tornado and one of her teachers who had suffered a death in the family, as well as for safe travels during our vacation. After we finished and I was heading out of her room, she said "Dad, it seems weird."

"Weird" I replied?

"Weird. We're praying for us to have a safe trip at the same time we're praying for the people in tornadoes and my teacher's family death. It just seems weird."

Perspective. That's the word that popped into my head as I finished saying good night and headed back to my room.

Oftentimes we as individuals, and certainly we as a society, have lost perspective. We fall into one of two errors: either we treat everything as mattering the same, or we treat the things that are not significant as if they are.

Think about it: my relationship with my children and my completion of every minor element at my job have two very different long term effects and outcomes - but too often, what do I treat as being the most important? Work becomes the thing I get exercised about and concerned about; other things get placed into the sidebars of my life.

Which of these truly matters more? Which of these is truly more significant? The job? - there will always be something else I do (in my industry, I've worked at 8 companies) - or my children, my relationship with them, and impact of that relationship on the future.

Or to the discussion last night - we should certainly pray about all things, but do I give them different weight in my own mind? Do I truly rank how I pray to the great needs, or are all needs equal?

Perspective can change, if we will let it. It just entails deciding: what is truly important, and what is not - and living with those decisions. Because, once you've decided, the things of importance will dominate the perspective and how one acts, leaving those things of lesser value to be swept away in the stream of time.

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