By Stewart Holloway
I’m almost three years into my forties and already, I’ve experience some “wonderful” milestones:
- I purchased life insurance because I may kick the bucket.
- The church purchased key man insurance on me. Again, because I may kick the bucket. But now I wonder, “If the church finances are tight and the deacons invite me to supper, do I go?”
- I’ve been prescribed cholesterol medicine and made dietary adjustments.
- My wife harasses me about finding gray hairs and hair that isn’t supposed to be in places.
Last week, I added a new milestone – I got bifocals. I’m beginning my second week of invisible line bi-focals today. So far, they’ve been a great help. But, BUT, the bifocal stories are true!
For years when I heard people tell of their bifocal experiences, I’d laugh and think, “What a nut! They can’t take that much getting used to!” Oh, yes, yes, they can! Last week, I was getting something out of a cabinet behind my assistant’s desk. As I closed the door, I looked through the wrong part of my glasses. The entire cabinet wobbled. I braced myself for it to fall. When it didn’t fall, I shook it to test it. The cabinet did not move. My assistant died laughing.
Later in the week, I was visiting a family and their new baby at Cabrini Hospital. I had no problem going up the monumental stair case in the women’s and children’s hospital, but when I started down, I thought, “Whoa! What’s going on with those stairs!” They were doing some kind of dance! I made it down and may take the elevator next time.
Bifocals have reminded me of something – perspective is important! The cabinet wasn’t really falling, but I sure thought it was! The stairs weren’t doing a dance, but it sure seemed like it! As leaders, we need to remember that perspective is important. We can get so bogged down in troublesome details that we don’t realize great things that are happening right around us. We look at our finances and think the “cabinet is falling”, when, they’re actually stable, it’s just a unique season in our company. We start to make a move and think “the stairs are dancing”, only to realize that there is still a clear and stable path to where we need to go.
Perspective is everything. The Enemy wants us to focus on the wrong things. He causes us to look at things through “the wrong lens” and be consumed by the budget, overly troubled by profit margin, and frustrated by underperforming employees. Even though those things may be our responsibility, the Enemy wants us to become bogged down in them so we will be dragged down physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We can get so caught up in those issues that we forget why we do what we do in the first place! That’s when we need a change of perspective. That’s when we need to realize that we are looking through the wrong lens!
In 2 Kings 6, we read about the Aramean army surrounding the army of Israel. The Israelites would most certainly be overpowered and destroyed. A distraught servant shared the news with the prophet Elisha, asking in desperation, “What shall we do?” Elisha calmly replied, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” But there was no way! Simple addition showed that the Israelites were outnumbered. Therefore, Elisha prayed, “Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. Guess what? Israel won that day.
If your cabinet is falling or your stairs are dancing, don’t panic. Just look through a different lens, the God lens. He will open your eyes to realities you never knew.
Stewart Holloway is pastor of First Baptist Church in Pineville.