Putting things into perspective often requires a “reset” of our thought-process. This week has been such a time.
My photo was captured in the Austrian Tyrol as paragliders took wing over jagged peaks and deep V-shaped valleys. Atmospheric haze makes the mountains recede into a blue and grey distance. It is dramatic and challenging- the courage of the flyers is remarkable.
Back home, politics have been as strident and graceless as ever. Elusive and controversial, the Brexit saga rumbles on unresolved. The British weather has been wild and wet.
Then we were jolted by the tragic news of nearly 40 deaths in a lorry bringing immigrants across the Channel.
Suddenly the trivial aggravations and public discontent became less important. Human lives lost through greed and callous exploitation- the nation was shocked. Perspective changed.
Personally, other factors have combined to make a review of perspective necessary and involuntary. More of that another time. It has left me posing a question: where do we find perspective when the unexpected happens?
The “Chosen People” of the Old Testament have given us a wonderful book of resources- the Psalms. They had to make sense of life in all circumstances, and asked questions as well as expressing trust in God.
Psalm 74:12-17 (NLT) You, O God, are my king from ages past, bringing salvation to the earth. You split the sea by your strength and smashed the heads of the sea monsters. You crushed the heads of Leviathan and let the desert animals eat him. You caused the springs and streams to gush forth, and you dried up rivers that never run dry. Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight and the sun. You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter.
This psalm draws on their faith-history (what God has done in the past) in order to find perspective on current life issues.
Without such faith, where do we find perspective ourselves? This is my choice based on past experience and on the revealed nature of God: Psalm 77:1-2 (ANIV) “I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.”