Monday, May 19, 2014

Inside, looking out.

It’s funny how little things pop into my memory. This morning I was thinking about how our perspective can get clouded by our environment. We start to see small things as big while big things can become so small as to become invisible. As I was pondering this, I suddenly remembered something that happened a long time ago. We were on the little farm where we grew up. I don’t remember who the visitor was, but we…along with my brother Jimmie…were standing where we could see the huge cottonwood trees that surrounded our neighbor’s place. Those trees were close enough that we could hear the birds chirping in them, but far enough away that we could only see the birds when they were in flight. Anyway, I was teasing our visitor about how I could see a sparrow at a certain spot in one of those trees. I couldn’t really see it at that distance, but we were giving our visitor a hard time as we bragged about our superior sight.

I turned to Jimmie, who, at eight years younger than me, might have missed what I was doing. “Do you see that sparrow, Jimmie?” I asked with confidence.

“You mean the one with the freckle under it’s left eye?” was his quick response.

I’m smiling as I write this, remembering our childhood world, where we were pretty big and sparrows were pretty small.

My perspective on my own size compared to that of the world outside changed abruptly one day. The scene was my freshman year of college, when I signed up to take the Northern Arizona tour. That fast-paced weekend was intended to help us newbies become acquainted with the amazing state that later become my permanent home. After a fast tour of Jerome, an old mining town, and a drive through the red rocks of Sedona, we made our way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I will never forget that first visit. After winding our way north from Williams, we were suddenly stopping at a lookout on the edge of one of the world’s wonders.

And, in that instant, I started to discover how small I was. Up until that time, I had seen pictures of the Canyon, but nothing…nothing…could really describe the vast size and majesty that was now at my feet; literally at my feet as I stood on the edge of it! If the canyon had been an ocean beach, I was way too small to be even a grain of sand in comparison.

I reflect on these two events today because of something that will be revealed in Part 2 of “Life Repurposed,” this weekend at Stone Ridge Church. It turns out that many of the people who first followed Jesus, finding his love on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem (Acts, Chapter 2, in the Bible), saw themselves as pretty big and the rest of the world as somewhat insignificant. The Apostle Paul was one who had stood next to the Grand Canyon-sized world and realized how big it was compared to the littleness of life in Judea. He was so moved that he dedicated his life to tell them God’s Good News.

His change of perspective is more important to you and me than we can possibly imagine. If he hadn’t been willing to look outside his old comfort zone, you and I might not even know about Jesus Christ and what He did for us. It’s a story worth hearing…again! If you can't catch us live, listen to the podcast!


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