I was listening to a podcast interview earlier this week, and the interviewer asked the guest to share his favorite gift ever received (in light of the holiday season). The guest answered, “perspective.” He went on to describe a story of interacting with a Christian Arab man on a trip to the Middle East, which provided him with a blinding new perspective on peace, suffering and faith.
Gaining new perspectives has become a mile marker of increased maturity for me. I believe it requires courage, wisdom and a certain degree of self-awareness to try on a new perspective, which can often put our own lens at risk of being turned upside down. This dabbles in the territory of vulnerability, as we loosen our grip on what we have known to be true.
And while it presents risk, allowing new perspective also promotes growth. Our capacity for grace and curiosity blooms as we set aside our staunch beliefs and welcome in new colors, new tastes, new ideas. There is limitless beauty to be beheld on this earth, and each expansion of our understandings provides a new glimpse at more beauty.
The holiday season provides the perfect platform for increased perspective as it invites us to pause, reflect, and heighten our senses. We journey down the lane of nostalgia, seeking out the smells and the songs and the sweaters that remind us of the joy of holidays past. We turn to the familiar pages of Matthew and Luke and revisit the sacred story of our Savior coming to earth. And while we pause our daily grind to create space for memories and community, we are poised and ready to invite perspective shift into our lives.
Mike and I have been intentional in this Christmas season to see and experience these Holy Days in all their mystery and mess. We have been inviting in the perspective of the Spirit, to clear out the noise, the chaos of red and green, and the distraction… creating space to see the story of Joseph, Mary and Jesus with new eyes.
My goal for celebrating the New Year is to build on the momentum of this season of pausing to reflect and gaining new perspective, so that it may carry me through the year. I want to be transformed by story, by beauty, and by diversity, to experience the richness of a Holy Spirit perspective. I pray that 2019 is a year of letting go of fixed understandings and weathering the discomfort of new ideas that stretch me.
I invite you to join me in being available to ideas, convictions and values that the Holy Spirit might refine in you. May this next year be one that we allow him to grow our understanding of the breadth of God’s heart and creativity by stepping outside of our norm and welcoming the gift of seeing with His eyes.
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Ephesians 1:17-23 (NIV)
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
About the Author
Britni is a quiet but fearless spirit who is earnestly seeking the beauty of the redemption that Jesus has personally determined for her life. Committed to the truth that listening breeds understanding and understanding results in compassion, she clings to the power of life’s stories. She has embarked on the venture of discovering her own story and lending an ear to the stories lived out in others and savors the trace of Jesus that is woven throughout them all. Currently, that journey has landed her in a balancing act between the role of wife, momma, and a mental health Care Coordinator.