Saturday, April 28, 2012

Greenland Looks Bigger on a Flat Map

Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” (Job 42:1-6, NLT)
Perception plays a big part in what we do and say.  If I perceive you are an open, honest person, I’m far more inclined to trust you than I am if you appear closed and aloof.  And, it has always been that way.  I don’t know if the signs were actually there, but our history books (at least the ones I had growing up) tell us that centuries ago, at the point where the Mediterranean Sea spills out into the vastness that is the Atlantic Ocean, maps showed warnings that advised, “Beyond this point, there be dragons.”

Speaking of maps, even modern ones present some challenges in terms of perception.  The island nation of Greenland (which, as you might know has little green about it), is located so far North that, when represented on a flat map, it looks almost the size of the North American continent.  I’d read that somewhere over the past month and, coupled with my previous thoughts about “I AM”, my thoughts of how we perceive things started spinning faster than most of the others.

All that drove me to Job, especially the end of his story.  I see the later chapters where God and Job are talking set up as if in a courtroom with the the wise old prosecutor pacing back and forth dealing out fact after fact that just nails the guy in the witness chair into silence.  In a way, that’s what God did and Job, having gained some valuable perspective, speaks what we read at the beginning of Chapter 42.  He has been personally humbled by the presence of “I AM” and now sees things with fresh eyes.

My journey along the Crooked Path could often use some perspective - especially the kind only God can bring.  If I, like Job, can humbly accept that kind of lesson, I will begin to see those around me in a different way.  And, seeing them as God sees them, I may find myself more accepting and compassionate about what they are going through on their own path.  Perspective - I don’t think I’ll look at a flat map again the same way.

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