My late, maternal grandfather was an artist. One of the most important things he ever taught me was perspectives on life–the way of looking at the world.
When I was in second or third grade, grandpa brought me a small microscope to K.I. Sawyer AFB in the upper peninsula of Michigan on one of his visits. It had a little lamp he’d been using to reflect off the mirror under the specimen platform. But grandpa had done something quite clever. He’d used double-sided tape to stick colored specs of see-thru plastic to the mirror so as I moved the mirror and looked through the microscope, the specimen changed so I could see it, literally, in a new light.
In my teens, when we would visit the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art he’d encourage me to turn my head and look at the paintings sideways, even upside down if I could.
Years later, when we moved to Castle AFB in Atwater, CA, grandpa came out several times and would disappear during the days, no matter the season, to go up to Yosemite National Park. My love for this one area of the country has grown through the years and I make a trip to California whenever possible, now with my daughters, to enjoy this national treasure.
MORE ON PERSPECTIVES
I know several people in my world right now who are going through some fairly significant trials. The tasks before them, and me, seem monumental to say the least. Here, look at this picture of El Capitan from the Yosemite Valley perspective.
That’s pretty ominous, isn’t it? If I’d not shot this with one of my grandpa’s film-based Canon’s in the late 2000s, I could blow it up and show you blue, red and green spots of humanity clinging to the face of El Cap, braving the forces of nature and working their way toward the top–like all of us do in the problems we face in this life.
I’ve never tried to climb El Cap, but my girls and I walked pretty close to the base of the face to look up. That is an even more daunting view.
FROM SENTINEL DOME
I’ve made no secret that when my time on Earth has come to its end, I should very much like to have my ashes sprinkled somewhere off the trail on the way up to Sentinel Dome. Probably not legal, no, but in the vast long run of the eternity to come, will it really matter if what remains of me is left in some off-the-beaten wind swept path? I think not. I desire this knowing that in spirit I will be in Heaven with my maker, but the thought of my ashes resting in view of Half Dome and the hundreds of miles one can see in a 360 panorama all around, well… I digress.
I want you to look at this second photo now, taken from atop Sentinel Dome in Yosemite, looking over at El Capitan.
Quite a different view, isn’t it?
I submit to you, those of you who feel like you’re at the base of a real-life mountain, that how you view your task is monumental to your success in overcoming it. El Capitan doesn’t look so big from higher up, does it?
Now imagine what our problems look like to our Lord, who rests higher still than these photos show.
Perspective is everything in this life. If we let the world around us dictate how we are left to see what is before is, the tasks will almost alway seem like they will be impossible to overcome.
I encourage you to consider these two photos regularly when life seems to be getting the better of you. Remember, God’s view is even higher than what we as humans are able to perceive. You should also know that you’re never alone in your walk. I promise, if you look hard enough, like the climbers half way up the face of El Cap, you’ll find someone who is willing to lend you a helping hand because they’re on the same walk as you, just maybe on a different path, higher up, or coming up from behind.