I woke up yesterday and was thinking about the annual spring flower market. It was almost four months ago, but the memory came floating back like it was yesterday- all the sights and sounds, the rides and games, the children and laughter, the music and flowers. This past spring I took one of my nieces along with me, as I enjoyed the evening with friends. It was an absolute delight seeing her young face light up on all the rides. My favorite ride every year, however, is the spectacular ferris wheel! When we walk below, the flower market is a buzzing town fair and can feel like a maze, so many colors and sensations catching the eye at every moment. It's hard to see much beyond a few yards, with herds of people milling about, and at every turn, a new spectacle of fun! But when we're lifted on the ferris wheel, it's as if time slows down and the world pauses. Suddenly I can see things I never saw before as I look below. The whole hurry of it all becomes minuscule and my perspective changes. The complete picture can be seen as we are lifted above. The entire play enacting simultaneously below my eyes. The dance of the evening moving in such a glorious display, almost in slow-motion, so that I can see the full landscape on the canvas under us. It's that moment I anticipate every year- the ferris wheel moment of seeing so much more than I can see on the mere ground.
Most of us have memories of summertime fairs, riding the ferris wheel with friends (in the movies, it's often a freckled-faced 12 year-old-boy and darling 12 year-old-girl in braids, looking at one another starry-eyed, eating ice cream cones and letting the world spin around!) But that's not why I want to reminisce and bring back the ferris wheel moments. Rather, I want to take a look at perspective, and how it changes everything. Spring is long gone. Summer is almost past. It's back-to-school time for all the children. Moms scurrying around, attempting to get backpacks filled with supplies and making sure children's pants don't have holes in the knees. Vacations are wrapping up and soon the cicada sounds will soften as the autumn breeze comes in like a whisper. Here is one child, pictured below, ready to go back to school! Pause and look at this photograph taken of a boy in El Salvador... Is it just whimsical, or is there a greater story being told through that chalk and his stance? What is this child's perspective?
I do believe that this little boy has an incredible perspective, one from which I'd like to learn a thing or two. I don't know his story, I don't know from what struggles he has arrived at this point. I don't know his pain or his victories, but I can see that he has a perspective of hope and that hope carries us through many seasons. Isaiah 40:31 promises, "But those who HOPE in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." I have an inkling that this boy sees himself not as a victim, but rather a victor. He sees himself as one who soars, who overcomes, who dreams big dreams and is off to great adventures!
To gain perspective on ourselves, on life, on the world...we first must gain true perspective on God. When we know the character of God and can see Him, we see the world, our lives, and everything in a whole new light. It is arresting when we finally rise above on that ferris wheel, gaining a true view of the landscape around us, and perceiving the plot unfolding. Let's be reminded of our God and His promises. Here are just a few to take your breath away today:
"I am with you...I am your God. I will strengthen you;
I will help you; I will uphold you."
"The Lord your God Himself will fight for you."
"Ah, Lord God! It is You who have made the heavens and the earth
by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for You."
"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,
and you have been given fullness in Christ,
Who is the head over every power and authority."
"For it is God who is all the while effectually at work in you
[energizing and creating in you the power and desire],
both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight."
"God's way is perfect. All the Lord's promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection."
2 Samuel 22:31