Sunday, November 7, 2010

From a Distance....

On his days off, my husband has been hiking the high desert trails with Booker. I occasionally go along. The other morning, he asked me to go with them. My first thought was of all I needed to do: the crab apple tree has dropped it's literal half-ton of apples to be picked up before snowfall; my house is a mess; I am behind on both laundry and studio work; and I am determined to finish my garden paths before snow falls. But I went along anyway.

When we got to the top of the plateau that overlooks our valley, I could see the Grand Mesa and the Bookcliffs, ending in Mt. Garfield to the east. If I looked to the west, I could see the backside of the Colorado National Monument. And, if I looked carefully, I could just see where our house is... there, just to the right of the top of my husband's head, I could see the construction crane up at the university campus, which is three blocks from our house, so I could figure out where it would be.

I could not see the fallen crab apples. I could not see my disarrayed house and studio. It made me think of the song, "From a Distance" that I first heard Nanci Griffith sing (though I think Bette Midler made it popular later on.) The point of the song is that God is watching us from a great distance, so what He sees is not necessarily what we think He sees. I've never been real sure about that concept. I think God can have some pretty powerful 'close-up' lens, to see into our very hearts should He choose. But the song, and viewpoint, is probably correct in that our viewpoint (fussing about undone chores) is not what God is concerned about in our lives. He sees a bigger picture. He sees the panorama of our lives; how they fit into the lives and events around us.

Things that tower over our lives, like the Grand Mesa and the Bookcliffs and the Monument tower around our valley, can seem small and insignificant, given enough perspective.

Sometimes it is good to get distance, in whatever way we can. It helps us to see that we are not as large, as important, or even as worrisome as we sometimes believe ourselves to be. We look at our own lives through 'macro lenses.' Get some distance. Look at your life with a 'long lens,' or get above and away from it for a bit. It will give you a new perspective!

From a distance we are instruments
marching in a common band.
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
They're the songs of every man.
God is watching us. God is watching us.
God is watching us from a distance.

(by Julie Gold)

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