I think that I often forget to view my life from a higher perspective. I get embroiled in the day-to-day details of my job, home, and relationships and forget what is really important in those daily exchanges. When I find myself over-focusing and fretful, I have to find a way to pull myself out.
When my children were smaller, we watched the movie Prince of Egypt together. I was really impressed with the song, “Through Heaven’s Eyes.” In the movie, Moses was feeling tormented and encouraged to look beyond his current circumstances, because from God’s perspective, he was simply moving from his preparatory phase of life to the performance phase. Sure, it hurt at the time, but it would all work out in the end, resulting in him leading his people out of slavery.
So when I apply this concept to my life, I see several major phases of my life, each assisting and leading up to my current place in life. But that perspective encourages me to see my past simply as preparation for the next phase. I’ve long been a slow starter, strong finisher in all aspects of my work. I’m not known as being a morning person (slow start); I’m a night person (strong finish). It’s the same with my life. I’ve been steadily picking up speed from a very inauspicious start, I just don’t know where it is going to end. When I look at my life from the big picture, I see distinct “packages” in which I learned important lessons and gained valuable skills. Each has prepared me for less rudimentary lessons and more valuable skills. Along the way, the work I perform has gained in value and reach.
Moses illustrates this movement in the movie. He learned how to lead and govern as the adopted son of the pharaoh. These skills and self-empowerment were then switched to a different group as he moved from preparation into performance. He used what he learned at the pharaoh’s home to free his people from Egyptian slavery and lead them to their promised land. He also used his skills to govern them on the long, arduous trip to their new home.
I suspect that looking at life from a higher perspective is naturally easier for some than others, but it can bring a new appreciation for what you have done and where you are going. Such a perspective also helps me to see others’ behavior from a higher perspective. I don’t need to react to every petty slight or perceived wrong, when I see the larger relationship and its value. When I keep an eye on the relationship (the bigger picture), I reduce my tendency to obsess on the daily behavior of those I spend time with. Applying this viewpoint to politics, changes my focus dramatically from daily insults, rhetoric, and drama to the values and relationships politicians reveal through their actions, policies, and spending. When looking from that perspective, it sure changes what I perceive as important, and I find my life more coherent and clear. It’s a powerful tool in finding peace in my life.