Extending Our Perspective
I sometimes find it hard to keep a long term perspective. The immediate and the urgent tend to interrupt my longer term thinking and capture an inordinate amount of attention. How about you?
Christmas tends to push in both directions. Celebrations multiply, traditions demand to be “observed” and obligations seem to loom large. Yet the true significance of the incarnation reaches back into eternity past and forward into eternity future. How can we bridge the immediate with the intermediate and the eternal?
We operate in the now, by necessity. We can only make a difference in the moment as we apply our knowledge of the Lord, His truth, and life experience to our situation. We have to choose words, actions and attitudes and act on them. We are taking in our surroundings which in our era includes information from global sources that can easily overwhelm our capacity to absorb and react.
We also operate in the intermediate timeframe. We need to use the reasoning capacity God has given us. So it seems we would be wise to strategically govern our influx of information and build in some reflection and prayer time for evaluating the information and what, if any, response we should undertake. It involves self-awareness, study of God’s truth, along with assessing how our resources could be used by God.
Though we can easily forget we are also living in an eternal timeframe. This life is truly a dot next to the long line of God’s perspective. Job described life’s brevity this way… “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle…” (Job 7:6a). As we live out our “dot” we are wise to consider the line of eternity.
Our facilities expansion project is an example of all 3 time perspectives. The true “foundations” of the project are found in the eternal truths of the gospel. This physical location is a place of gathering for those whose lives have been touched by God and “chosen from the foundation” when God decided to create us. Over 100 years ago, a generation of Jesus’ followers built this structure…
It was eventually modified and updated to the structure that I remember from my early childhood, looking like this…
Just over 50 years ago, the followers worshipping here took a step of faith resulting in the building we now use to praise God and proclaim the gospel…
By God’s grace we have expanded it since then, with a new lobby and community center…
This past week the final section of foundation walls was poured for a structure we believe God will use for multiple generations.
Christmas tells us God has a long term plan. He was wise enough to know we human beings would need rescuing and loving enough to meet that need in our Savior. His plan redeems all time perspectives. Because of His long range plan, we can look ahead in our comparatively short lives and make intermediate decisions wisely. We can also build availability into our lives for opportunities we don’t foresee that surprise us (but not God!). I appreciate the eternal thinking displayed by so many who have embraced and supported this initiative.
This weekend we will study the encounter between a good priest named Zechariah who found himself in the center of God’s eternal plan.
Looking forward to seeing you!