Facing the Future: Perspective
This is the first of a series of posts on the theme of ‘Facing the Future’. We will be hearing the reflections of a number of writers who are all under 25.
A friend this week asked me why I love the sky so much (‘I do mean that question genuinely’, they said). It gave me pause because I hadn’t considered my love of the sky to be overly notable. I also hadn’t actually ever given thought to the reasons why I do, in fact, love the sky.
I replied back, ‘Perspective’. (‘A trite but powerful answer’, they said).
I spent New Year’s Eve with a group of friends who are all, like me, in their early twenties. One of the main things we reflected on was how unsettling our current life stage can feel. At the moment many of us are moving jobs and cities with the frequency of about once a year, and we are unsure where we will end up. Many of us are also unsettled by the events happening around us; concern about the environment is not something we grew up with, but is now a regular part of our conversations.
Over the past month I have been learning Psalm 100. It starts, ‘O be joyful in the Lord, all the earth; serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song’. It ends, ‘For the Lord is gracious; his steadfast love is everlasting, and his faithfulness endures from generation to generation’.
My perspective comes from who the Lord is. In times which feel uncertain, I am reminded of the Lord who is the creator of ‘all the earth’ and whose faithfulness ‘endures from generation to generation’. The Lord is Lord over every place. The Lord is Lord through all of time.
This is the perspective I gain from looking at the sky.
Looking at the sky, I am reminded of creation and the small but important place I hold within it. I am reminded of the Creator of ‘all the earth’, who holds it together. And looking at the sky, I am reminded of how day follows the night. I am reminded of how the faithfulness of the Lord ‘endures’, and is unchanged even in darkness.
Currently, my Grandma is very unwell in hospital. Uncertainty and darkness feel very real. It is unnerving to see her scared, and strange to see the vulnerability of my Mum and Grandad who are usually very stoic.
My Dad was trying to explain to my Uncle – who is severely autistic and has learning difficulties – what is happening to Grandma. He drew a tree and explained that the roots of the tree aren’t working properly. He asked my Uncle to imagine what would happen to a tree if the roots weren’t able to draw nutrients from the soil. That’s the pulmonary fibrosis, he said. And then he asked my Uncle to imagine what would happen to the tree if there was suddenly a lot of rain, and there was water drowning the roots. That’s the pneumonia, he explained.
What do we do as we face uncertainty?
I first look for perspective. Perspective which comes from who the Lord is.
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Photo: Bleu skye, by Mark Purcell (CC BY-NC-SA)