Words of Worth

“A Fresh Perspective”

July 25, 2014

Blog #3 from the series, “Light” from the Black Forest

Today’s guest blogger is Jordan Allen, Student, Cairn University

Alps_Schilthorn_BlogPhoto

Over the course of the past four weeks I have frequently found myself at a loss for words as my mind struggles to process and apprehend the splendor of God’s majesty embedded in the sights and sounds around me.  Outside America for the first time, I am wrapping up this once in a lifetime opportunity to complete the remaining coursework for teaching certification and to take in Germany, France, and Switzerland over the last four weeks. I thought I had traveled my fair share, but that was within the United States – this is big, this is international, this is global!

Perspective plays a critical role in my ability to understand and relate to both God and others.  I can never truly focus on myself and Christ, or myself and others at the same time.  When I’m wrapped up in my own little world and the problems I face daily, I take my eyes off the cross and then lose the lens or perspective through which Christ sees the world and us.  When I am kingdom minded, I am able to lay aside my selfish concerns to love and serve those around me.

Perspective has been a recurring theme over here, particularly in light of the Alps.  Last week I made an ascent in a cable car from the village of Mürren, Switzerland to the Schilthorn, the highest peak in this region of the Alps.  Gazing out at the Alps, I marveled at Christ’s power and love that he would consider me amidst all of creation.

The world is filled with billions of people, each with a unique perspective and manner with which they relate to the world.   How trivial my worries and concerns seem when laid against the sum of human history and God’s brilliant design holding it all together.

At the end of my first week here Dr. Vasso, Dr. Alexander, my mother, father, and I traveled to Switzerland.  The power of perspective was clear to me on the car ride home.   The tiny rental could barely accommodate five adults and the mountain road we traversed would have given pause to the most agile of creatures.  Go figure, soon after sharing, rather proudly, that I am impervious to motion sickness, I exchanged seats to sit in the back.

I become more and more focused on what was directly in front of me, and then the feeling inside of me.  My head rocked in a wide rotation as my gaze shifted down to my lap. I searched for a connection or meaning amidst the messages my body was screaming.  Feeling little relief staring at my lap and the seat in front of me, I forced my head up and scanned the landscape.

My eyes locked on one snowy peak in particular, and in so doing seemed to steady my body.  The act of fixing my eyes on the constant reality of the mountain peak in the distance brought balance and equilibrium.   Soon thereafter, with sustained effort as I concentrated on a fixed point on the horizon, I was able to endure the erratic navigation and participate in conversation.

How often my attention is locked on the matters and details surrounding the minuscule sphere of my own little world, and its’ relatively meaningless concerns!  The best perspective, the one I must maintain, is one that is kingdom minded, with my eyes fixed on Christ and His atoning work on the cross.  Only when I look outside of myself can I serve and love others.

Focused on Jesus, we can have His perspective.  We can see others the way He does and even let go of our past haunts as we learn to view ourselves as He does.  How powerful and freeing!  When we look to Jesus we all but forgot about our own comfort and selfish desires to focus on loving others in a way that advances the gospel and furthers the kingdom.

Father, I surrender my life to you today and I pray that you place a hedge of protection around me to shield me from spiritual attack and the lies and deceit embedded in the world around me.  Fix blinders over my eyes so that I may look to You and You only, so that I won’t look to the things of this world or the vapor within.  Lord, grant me the eyes of Jesus to see others and myself as Jesus does so that I may have a perspective grounded in Your truth and in Your ways.  Fill me with the love and knowledge of Christ Jesus so that I may be a light to the lost as I rejoice in hope, remain patient in tribulation, and constant in prayer.  I pray these things in the name of Jesus, to whom all the glory, and honor, and power remain, forever and ever, Amen. (Jordan Allen)

 

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