It’s All in Your Perspective

perspecitveYesterday was beautiful, with 75 degree temps and not a cloud in the sky.  I spent a large portion of the day working in the yard because of the huge amount of upkeep that had gone lax over the last couple of months. Bushes needed trimming, weeds needed pulling, and new mulch needed to go down.  As a matter of fact, I felt pretty overwhelmed just looking at the large amount of work that needed to be done to make the yard as pretty as I wanted it to be.

About four hours after the work began, I was exhausted.  So, I sat up on a shady knoll that looked over my entire back yard.  As I sat there, I saw my yard from a different perspective.  I rarely, if ever, go to the very back of my yard and really look at the back of my house.  So, I took that quiet, cool moment to examine my handiwork.  While sitting there I saw several butterflies fluttering around my butterfly bush.  I then noticed how gracefully the two trees in my yard flowed with the gentle breeze.  Then I offhandedly noticed the fact that most of the flowers in my yard were yellow.  I guess I like yellow.  You know what?  My yard is kind of pretty.  I’m not sure I would have noticed that (or appreciated that) at all had I not had this perspective.

This morning in worship the sermon was on the book of Acts and how the Holy Spirit was the driving force behind all that the characters did to move the early church forward.  The key to the sermon was that we need to be empty of our own wants and desires for the Holy Spirit to have room to work in us and through us.  It’s so true that we struggle with our own agendas to the point that we are not open enough to let the Holy Spirit guide us to what is right for us and for the Kingdom!  It’s a lot like when we get upset that the worship service we love is moving to a different time and we become so upset because it upsets OUR schedule – when, in fact, that change will allow more people to worship and become closer to Christ.  Our agendas take the front seat when we are full of ourselves and not the Holy Spirit.

Earlier yesterday I was full of my own agenda – I needed to clip this, pull that, make this prettier.  I was even in a fowl mood after a couple of hours because I couldn’t see the progress I was making and was getting more frustrated by the minute.  But the simple act of sitting and looking at things from a different perspective changed everything.  I was open to appreciating the work I had done, the beauty that was already there, and the gift of the house and yard in the first place!  The rest of the work I did went by with joy and excitement as I truly appreciated the gift of the yard, the work I put into it, and the joy I could receive from it.  I even ate dinner out there!  It was wonderful!

What would happen in your life if you stopped and looked at things with a different perspective?  To do that honestly means to empty yourself of “you” and be open to the Holy Spirit in your life.  Imagine the ideas that can open up for you if you did that?  Imagine the grace you could shower upon others if you could see from their perspective!  Imagine the work of the Kingdom we could all do if we were open to it.  Just imagine the possibilities!

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About revmonica

I'm the Director of Growth Ministries at Williamsons Chapel United Methodist Church and the proud wife of Steve and mommy to Morgan and Gavin.
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4 Responses to It’s All in Your Perspective

  1. pinterestgirl95 says:

    Beautiful post 🙂 I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Thank you, Monica. Gardens are so inspirational for those who have eyes to see.
    As I pondered this post, one thing gave me rise to open for discussion: The sermon message, asserting we must be empty of our own wants and desires for the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us. In my view, this is akin to saying to your child, “Do not have any of your own mind, your wants do not matter. Instead, let me live my life through you.” There holds a pseudo-righteousness in messages like that, but they risk dehumanizing us, making blind followers devoid of personality, individuality, life! I don’t see you being that way, Monica. Many folks who love the Lord and enjoy the Holy Spirit working in and through us find that God enjoys working in and through our deepest desires, having created us Himself and cleansed us from impurity. Again, in my view, a problem arises in a sermon, in that there is rarely room for discussion, processing responses and clarifying points. Church doesn’t end when the sermon’s over, does it?

    • revmonica says:

      I didn’t communicate well if that was what you perceived me saying – and, after re-reading my post, I do see how you could have misinterpreted that. God absolutely works through our goals, desires and wants. My point, and the point of the sermon, was the “forest for the trees” concept . . . meaning that when we are more about ourselves and what we want or desire, we don’t see the larger picture of where the Holy Spirit is at work, and could be at work if we were more open to it. For instance, in my current situation (separation), it was very easy for me to turn internally and to be secretive as I was embarrassed to share the circumstances behind my marital issues. My need and desire to keep the details to myself was overwhelming. But, over these past couple of years, I’ve found myself in situations where I opened up and shared the details, only to find that the person I shared with needed to hear my story and they, too, were struggling with the same thing. My looking outside of my own need and desire and opening myself up for the Holy Spirit to work in me led to the “forest” in spite of my desire to focuse on the “tree.” God works in and through us even when we are not aware of it – that is what Wesley’s “prevenient” grace is all about and I firmly believe it.

      I’m not sure if that makes any sense or not – the difficulty in writing is that what is in my head and my heart may not come across in words the way I mean it to. Thank you for sharing your perspective! I certainly don’t want to misrepresent such a wonderful sermon, so if you want to hear it for yourself you can click here: http://www.williamsonschapel.org/2007/Worship/sermons.asp.

      • I appreciate your explanation, Monica. I tried to do the sermon, but it was not loading. I will try it again sometime when I am in Free Wi-Fi area and let you know what I think.

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