In one of my favorite comedy movies, “Evan Almighty,” Joan Baxter had prayed that their move to Washington, D.C. would bring her family closer together. What transpired after the move had her completely confused. Her husband, Evan felt commissioned by God to start building an ark. Becoming a modern day Noah, he put everything at risk to pursue this venture. The following clip occurs after she has taken the kids and is now having diner at a restaurant. Upset and confused, her unique “server” brings a new perspective to her prayer and the events that have been taking place.
When faced with less than desirable circumstances, we typically can’t see the forrest through the trees. Our perspective gets skewed and meaning gets lost against the overwhelming obstacles in our way. Just as with Joan, we hope and pray for something to give but when it doesn’t come the way we would like, we turn our backs and run away. Often running from the very things we desired.
How we view the world, our surroundings and life situations are directly affected by three simple things. Often times we cannot see the big picture because of how fast we are going, how close we are and who we allow speak into our lives.
In the movie “Batman Begins”, Bruce Wayne learns a very valuable lesson when being trained on a frozen lake. What seems to be a time of victory during a sparing session quickly changes to a losing scenario. Bruce has his opponent in a position of defeat whenRa’s al Ghul says, “You have sacrificed sure footing for a killing stroke,” then taps the ice to break beneath him. Bruce was so focused on winning that he did’t mind his surroundings, which ultimately caused his defeat.
Have you ever taken a ride in a race car, motorcycle or even a roller coaster? At the speeds that you travel, what does your view look like? If you have, you know that your vision gets tunneled to a very small focal point. Much like our picture here, it’s hard to see what’s taking place around us. We are going too fast to look away from the object directly in front of us and our surroundings become blurred. That’s what happened to Bruce Wayne and happens to us on a daily basis. We miss out on vital information because of our haste. Be careful of tunnel vision.
Have you ever been on a hot air balloon, helicopter or air plane? Have you ever stood on top of a high-rise building or the top of a mountain? What did you see? If not, just take a look at Google Earth and find your current location. View it from different zoom depths and notice how small everything looks from afar off compared to up close. The people and structures look so big when up close but so small when zoomed out.
How does this apply to our topic? Well… The closer we are to something, the bigger it seems to be. Sometimes our perspective can overwhelm us simply because we are too close. It’s good to step away and take it all in rather than taking it all on. We often get hit with mind blowing epiphanies after moving away from our situation and scaling it back, that further help us come to a solution.
Our proximity can cause confusion, much like it did with Joan in the video above. She was too close to the situation and didn’t have a clear understanding until she stepped away. At that point she was open to receive an outsiders perspective.
Now I’m not saying that we should take advice from any random stranger but we do need to take into consideration that we don’t have all the answers. It’s a good idea to bring someone else into the picture that is a trusted friend or mentor. Not someone who will simply tickle your ear and tell you what you want to hear or see it from your angle. You want someone who will tell you the truth, even if it hurts. We must consider that we don’t have it all figured out.
I’m going to get personal here for a second. My life mentor is Dave Bunch, he has been with me for the last 15 years. I have given him the authority in my life to tell me the truth without holding back. Sometimes I have to draw it out of him because he isn’t as brutal as I need him to be but he always guides me into a better understanding in the fog of my life. Why do I go to Dave? Well, he has pure motives for guiding me and is selfless rather than self-serving. So, find someone you can trust and give them authority to speak into your life. Examples of other’s who I allow to give me advice are my wife, pastor, dad, mom, father-in-law, business coaches and such. Each having a specific area that can help add to my perspective.
This topic can be unpacked and discussed in many different angles but this is what I felt on my heart today. We don’t have all the answers and our perspective can be distorted. Having the right people in your life to tell you the things you need to hear is key. Taking a step back to see the whole picture will give new meaning to your situation and it’s surroundings. Slow down and take it all in, when we move too fast is typically the time that our life becomes a blur.