When life doesn’t turn out the way we plan, it’s easy to wish – and even pray – that our situation would change. Laurie Polich Short says even when we can’t change our circumstances, we can always change our perspective on them–which in turn, changes everything. One important perspective to adopt is the big view.
“We’re all here for a limited time; at some point, we are all going to end our time here, which of course is just the beginning of eternity.”
“The big view lets us look at our whole life and say, ‘Why don’t we live every day like that? Why don’t we appreciate the things around us, like we do when we have some kind of crisis in our lives?’ The big view is essentially pulling back and getting the bigger picture of your life, that you’re a part of a bigger story.”
Another vital lens to help us cultivate our perspectives is the present view.
“The present view (much like when you switch lenses on your camera) pulls you into what is right immediately around you; it’s like getting the close-up view. I propose that actually God wants us to live in this view, in the sense that He is the great I am; He is always in the present.”
“Many times, we are mentally living in the past (something that happened that we’re drawing upon or thinking about) or in the future (something we’re worried about or hope will happen). God is always in the here-and-now, because He’s outside of time, so He invites us to be tuned in to what is happening around us.”
Laurie says focusing on the present also requires us to connect with the people around us; and what God is teaching us through this moment.
“A lot of times we’re so focused on one door that we want to see open–maybe it’s something we longed for in our lives, or for prayer that’s not answered–we’re so focused on that, we’re missing some of what God is doing around us. He might be opening another door that isn’t something that we’re looking for, but that door is going to lead us to another door, which might lead us to another door, which may, in fact, actually lead to the door that you want, but it’s just a different route.”
“If we have in our minds that God wants to lead us rather than just saying, ‘God bless me as I go.’ Instead, say ‘Where do you want me to go? What do you want me to see today?’ That’s really what the present view invites.”
Scripture reminds us of the power of perspective, including the need to “set your mind on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2) Laurie refers to this lens as the higher view.
“When God brought you here, He had a story for you. So often, we look at other lives and we want those lives. But God is saying, ‘I’m giving you this life for this amount of time it’s a small portion of time and eternity and I’m inviting you to live it–the difficulties of it, the hardships, the wonderful parts of it–all to my glory.’ That’s really the invitation of the higher view.”
Speaker and author Laurie Polich Short is passionate about encouraging people in their faith. She’s the author of “Finding Faith in the Dark,” and “When Changing Nothing Changes Everything: The Power of Reframing Your Life.”
The power of perspective