A Matter of Perspective

by Christine Sine

a matter of perspective -photo by Joy Lenton

by Joy Lenton

A new year slowly unfurls like a road stretching before us, and we may hesitate about which route to take as traffic snakes forward.

It will help bring greater clarity if we decide on our faith focus for the journey ahead.

What if we saw life more from God’s perspective?

Because perspective and motivation determine our deeds and drive our behaviour.

Actions arise out of our thoughts and feelings, habits and desires.

It can be hard to change unless we allow Holy Spirit to alter the way we think and shape who we are in the process of becoming.

The root of all renewal is a matter of a changed heart and mind.

Much inner angst and anxiety stems from faulty thinking about God, ourselves and others.

In learning to live freely and being captive only to Christ, we need to turn away from flawed patterns of thinking and turn instead toward a biblical perspective.

Such thoughts shaped the poem below…

Perspective

The world defines beauty by virtue of lines of perfection in looks, dress,
face and form, and every part coming together as grace and art,

whereas I see beyond outward appearance to the depths of your being, where I am living and dwelling, where spiritual fruit is growing, developing in a receptive heart

The world assesses knowledge by education, learning, dedication, college attendance,
whereas I look for thirst, desire to learn, coupled with meekness, surrender and obedience

You don’t need certificate, diploma or degree, but you do need perseverance,
application to My word and turning attention continually to Me

The world looks for wisdom in accumulating facts, possessing
sage advice and being seen as all-knowing in other’s eyes

I see wisdom as gift for those with eager, seeking hearts who ask, believe
and receive it from me, and make it a priority to be diligent in
this task, humbling themselves to be wise only in My eyes

The world assumes that satisfaction is found in every want being met,
desires and goals achieved, plans fulfilled, and life going swimmingly

Look beyond the temporary and temporal and see how true, deep, lasting
satisfaction is found only in personal relationship with Me

The world uses love as currency, bartering, giving and withholding, conditional,
dependent on feelings sustained, a measure of acceptability, validity

I bring you Love in all its amazing diversity as pure, unconditional, undeserved
offering, unmerited yet freely given treasure beyond anything you know or see

There is a world that’s constrained or open, a gift to reject or receive
for your soul’s sake – depending on which perspective you take
©JoyLenton2016

Loving heavenly Father,

We give You thanks for this new year and the opportunities it presents.

Grant us wisdom to live each day mindfully, carefully and prayerfully in the light of eternity.

Help us to focus on faith rather than fear, to seek freedom from old destructive ways and embrace positive change.

Equip us to be bearers and sharers of Your compassion, mercy and love.

May we receive daily grace as fuel for the journey and ingest Your word as manna to give out to others.

Let us live life like a prayer, listening attentively to holy whispers, being open, receptive and aware.

Primarily, over all these things, we offer our hearts and minds to You as we seek to see life from Your perspective, knowing that in doing so we will discover we are well equipped for all that lies ahead.

Amen

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5 comments

Mary Harwell Sayler January 6, 2016 - 6:32 am

Beautiful and timely! Thank you, Joy and Christine. I’ll highlight this on the Christian Poets & Writers blog to encourage other members of our Facebook group to read and think on your words. http://www.christianpoetsandwriters.com

Reply
Joy Lenton January 6, 2016 - 10:23 am

Thank you, Mary! It’s an honour to have this post highlighted on the Christian Poets and Writers blog. I’m glad it spoke to you and hope and pray others will be blessed in reading it too. 🙂

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Lisa de Jong January 6, 2016 - 11:42 am

Hi Joy. Another deep and insightful post, with some beautiful truths to ponder from you. Thank you. Made me think of Henri Nouwen’s words I read yesterday: ‘There is a great difference between successfulness and fruitfulness. Success comes from strength, control, and respectability. A successful person has the energy to create something, to keep control over its development, and to make it available in large quantities. Success brings many rewards and often fame. Fruits, however, come from weakness and vulnerability. And fruits are unique. A child is the fruit conceived in vulnerability, community is the fruit born through shared brokenness, and intimacy is the fruit that grows through touching one another’s wounds. Let’s remind one another that what brings us true joy is not successfulness but fruitfulness.’ (Text except taken from Bread for the Journey, by Henri Nouwen). Joy I pray for you all the wonderful gifts from God this year, which you are already so aware that you already have, as we all do. Ana Lisa xx

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Joy Lenton January 6, 2016 - 12:34 pm

Lisa, you add hugely to the conversation here and invite deeper reflection by your insightful comments. I’m a huge fan of Henri Nouwen too and just had to take a look (and order) ‘Bread for the Journey’ which I hadn’t read yet! Interestingly, I’ve just sent off an article that speaks about God’s strength being perfected in our weakness. There is certainly much fruit to be gleaned from it. And strangely too, vulnerability seems to be my calling card as a writer, one I hesitate over at times but know is being led by God’s Spirit. May you experience the fullness of His fruitfulness not only as a writer/poet but in your life in general in the year ahead. We are blessed by its bounty overflowing here. Thank you for your kind words. Bless you, my friend! 🙂 x

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Lisa de Jong January 7, 2016 - 1:44 am

Bless you Joy. And I hope you enjoy the book of Henri Nouwen’s. I haven’t got it yet but have a daily devotional emailed to me from the Henri Nouwen Society that has excepts from the book – which looks amazing and I will have to read it one day. Re our writing and the importance of authenticity, vulnerability and honesty here is another wonderful quote from Thomas Merton, “Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the man or the artist who is called for by all the circumstances of their individual lives. They waste their years in vain efforts to be some other poet, some other saint…They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody else’s experiences or write somebody else’s poems.” May we be true to ourselves and our readers by sharing only what we can say!

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