When our Perspective is Distorted

Shortly after passing my driver’s test I found myself on a major highway in the middle of a major traffic jam. It was

all stop and go. I was a new driver trying to navigate through the city. At one point I was between two large transport trucks, each was carrying a load of new cars. I had been stopped for a few moments when suddenly my car began to roll backwards. Although my foot was already on the brake I pushed down even harder but the car was still rolling. I panicked and pulled the emergency brake.  Then I finally realized that I wasn’t moving at all but rather one of the trucks beside me was slowly moving forward. I had the perception that I was moving backward but in reality I was perfectly still. Perception is a powerful thing.

Sometimes it is hard to see what is really happening around us. Our perception of things can play tricks with our physical and spiritual eyes. When I read the news updates about various trouble spots in the world I get the sense that things are falling apart. When I look at my long ‘to-do’ list and appointment calendar I think there is no way that I’ll manage to get through the day. I can get fearful about the future and what is going to happen to me. It’s easy in our 24/7 society to be overwhelmed and lose perspective.  

The Psalmist Asaph once had a similar feeling. To him, it seemed that evil was winning the day; that the enemies of God were prospering and succeeding while his situation was bleak and depressed. His perspective was all distorted he writes until “I went into the sanctuary of God.” There, in that ‘sanctuary moment’, he saw things as they really are and his perspective on life was restored. It wasn’t him who was slipping and falling but those who weren’t following God. He was actually the one on solid ground and in a safe place. God gave him a glimpse of his reality and it settled his spirit.

From time to time I also need that kind of ‘sanctuary’ experience; time alone with God to clear up my faulty thinking and restore my perspective. Not everything that I see presented is accurate, what I need is to view things from God’s position and when I get that quick insight everything in my spirit calms down.

Don’t be discouraged or depressed by what’s happening in the world today. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the items on your list that must be accomplished. These matters are serious but God remains sovereign and in control. We belong to him. God has promised to be with us and to guide us for his glory and honor. We have to rest in him. Asaph concludes, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fall, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (73:25-26) And that’s good counsel for all of us.