Friday, April 7, 2017

It's a Matter of Perspective

I had the privilege of judging at the Dallas Speech and Debate Tournament yesterday. One of the speeches that impressed, inspired and blessed me was by a gal who gave an Illustrative Oratory entitled “Perspective”. An illustrative oratory is one where the speaker is able to use props and graphics on an easel and boards that illustrate their subject matter and speech.

She gave this illustration about her Great Grandparents. She described her grandpa as a quiet, sedentary, low-key artist. Her grandmother was a busy, overactive, always on-the-go gal. She said, if you looked at those qualities, you’d simply look at potentially negative flaws. But when you ask her Grandpa about his wife’s qualities, he would say, “She’s a hard worker, understanding and full of life.” And to ask her about her husband’s qualities, she’d say “He’s creative, talented and dedicated.” It’s a matter of perspective.

This letter was written by a young lady to her parents from college:
Dear Mom & Dad -- Sorry I haven’t written sooner. I broke my arm and left leg when I jumped from the second floor of my dormitory when we had the fire. We were lucky. A service station attendant saw the blaze and called the Fire Department. They were there in minutes. I was in the hospital for a few days. Paul, the service station attendant, came to see me every day. And because it was taking so long to get our dormitory liveable again, I moved in with him. He has been so nice and I must admit that I am pregnant. Paul and I plan to get married just as soon as he can get a divorce. I hope things are fine at home. I’m doing fine, and will write more when I get the chance. Love,Your daughter, Susie.
P.S. None of the above is true. But I did get a "D" in Math and flunked Chemistry. I just wanted you to receive this news in its "Proper Perspective!"

Here’s what I’ve come to know. When it comes to the things of life and the way we perceive it, with its good and bad times, we often only can see confusion, disconnected events, inconvenience, and the overwhelming immensity of everything and our own smallness in comparison. But, like I had to do when I was inconvenienced with this recent hailstorm that caused damage to my soon-to-be home, I had to get a grip and get a good perspective on the whole thing. I had to stand back and take in as much of the view as I could. When I did that, not only could I see the present, but I could also see the blessings that can come with it. It was a matter of perspective.

Oftentimes we're so caught up in the middle of it all that we forget that we are smack dab in the place where God can fulfill His destiny and purpose in us the best. I know we all can look back on a time with a different perspective and see God's hand at work.

Sounds to me like perspective has a lot to do with gratitude. The young woman’s story about her grandparents indicated that they were grateful for each other. The story of the college student, I’m sure led to gratitude that their daughter ONLY had an issue with her grades and not all the other issues. And for me and you, we should all look around at the bigger picture of blessings that encompass our lives: our loved ones and all their quirks, our homes – because we have a place to live no matter how big or small; our cars no matter how old it is; our jobs – that others would give anything to have a job. It really is all about gratitude and PERSPECTIVE.