One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to sit at a table with a scenic view, a favorite drink, some great music and work for hours on 1000+ piece puzzles. Yes, it’s true that few supposed relaxing or recreational things may seem as daunting or feel as frustrating at times; but, that’s why I take frequent walks outside. However, don’t forget the thrill of returning to the puzzle table with fresh perspective or a new angle that reveals a wrongly placed (forced fit) piece, and causes a wave of progressive connectivity. There’s something so satisfying about concentrating on small pieces, connecting and contextualizing them (little by little), and ultimately completing the task of re-presenting “the big picture.”
For much of my life, I’ve felt like one of those force fit puzzle pieces…a square peg in a round hole. It wasn’t environmental, A.D.D., or an identity crises, I simply possessed a prevailing sense of the world focused and awed at a puzzle put together wrongly. Have you noticed that our world is constantly separating things that obviously were meant to be connected; and, connecting stuff that’s definitely to be separated? Something was off. People around me seemed to have or perceive everything backwards. Like a crowd starring at a Picasso or Dali as if it were reality and life was fantasy; the world (at best) seemed convinced of trivialities and confused on absolutes, or (at worst) didn’t care about their inaccurate, incomplete view of life. Most of them were focusing and prioritizing wrongly, and were blinded to or ignoring the things that matter most. “There is nothing stranger today than the importance of unimportant things. Except, of course, the unimportance of important things…modern man is now committed to the exaltation of very small and secondary matters at the expense of very great and primary ones” (G.K. Chesterton).
Since I became born again (summer 1981), an almost overwhelming, instinctive urge has compelled me to seek wholeheartedly for the “Gaining of God’s Perspective.” This internal conviction has driven me to swim upstream against the raging currents of cultural correctness, present circumstances and Christian nominalism. While a dead thing can go with the stream, only a living thing can go against it. This was not a search for salvation, but the pursuit of God to receive HIS Heavenly Vision. On this journey, the Spirit of Grace and Truth has faithfully guided me through the dangers of humanism, the toils of religion, and the snares of man-made traditions. Like a salmon in spring, I knew somewhere behind and beyond the torrential floods (the accepted and deficient ways of the world) lies the place of my destiny.
Behind the surrealistic puzzle/picture of life, beyond the conventional currents of selfish and secular perspectives was more than meets the eye…and I had a passion to discover it. Behind it all, I knew there was something real, true, eternal, tangible…Someone transcendent and larger than life itself, yet immanent-actually there. As Francis Schaeffer once said, “HE is there and HE is not silent.” Behind it all was not a place, but a person. Jesus Christ is more than a savior. HE is the “Great I AM”, the revelation and message of God, “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of HIS nature, upholding all things by the word of HIS power.” Jesus is the picture for the puzzle pieces of the human heart and life.
By seeing and knowing Jesus, things begin to look different. You become suddenly aware of people and particulars that were missed before. This new sensitivity brings with it a longing to know what it all means. Soon, my longing to know and search for understanding gave way to regularly experiencing “Aha!” and “Oh, I see it!” moments. Faith in God, intimate relationship with Jesus, and the pursuit of HIS heart and eyes brought stunning new insights…causing me to discern misplaced or missing things. The scriptures are the key to collecting and connecting these clues of life until there’s a coherent pattern or whole picture. They provided me more than a sketch of reality –they revealed where each piece of life’s puzzle went to re-present the big picture…helping me make sense of it all. Most questions can be answered, many puzzles solved, and personal hope for wholeness and vision restored by reading the Bible. Biblical truths are the keys that fit the locks of life…opening the doors to the world around us.
By the daily guiding of the Holy Spirit through the Holy Scriptures, I was now seeing reality more accurately. I came to understand that what was off or missing was due to the world’s rejecting and neglecting of spiritual realities and scriptural truths while putting the comforts of the body over the care of the soul. This is faith in the material to the utter neglect of the spiritual…which is none other than covetousness or idolatry. Through the eyes of selfishness, everything we see is distorted, as our pride and prejudices pervert our perceptions.
Gaining God’s perspective allows us to see as HE sees. It is catalyzed by the revelation of Christ, cultivated through spiritual discernment and a Biblical worldview, and made accurate through the proper conception and care of the soul. By seeing these ultimate truths/realities, we are freed from slavery to the immediate. Then we can be prophetic –interpreting life from the perspective of faith and love and under the aspect of eternity. This type of vision is accompanied by the desire to help “all men see the fellowship (connections) of the mystery”… that they may turn the things of their lives around and put them back together rightly. Like the sons of Issachar, our understanding is always with an eye to what we should do, and not simply know. May the God of Heaven invade your life that you would be captured by HIS presence, captivated by HIS enduring vision that is born of a different perspective and commitment. “Oh, Lord, open our eyes to see!”