Religion column: Perspectives

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2017

By Fr. Jonathan Filkins

Standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon, in Northern Arizona, it is the rare person who is not moved by the vista set before them. Even those who have viewed numerous photos, and reviewed travelogues, will frequently remark these sources, “do not give a true sense,” of what is the extraordinary expanse of what is now seen.

Certainly, being present to experience not only the views, but also to hear the rustle of the wind through the junipers, the clarion call of the solitary crow, or the wail of a hidden coyote, rounds out the senses and delivers a refreshment. Being there, first hand, creates a new sensory banquet and often refreshes one’s life perspectives, as we may feel so incredibly small in all of this wonderment, and our place in it.

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However, we do not need to travel to Arizona to be refreshed in our perspectives, or any other distant land to be awed by the works of God in our lives. As being on the abyss of the Canyon, it is all about our perspectives, which are shaped by our attitudes, actions and inactions.

Many of those, in their aging, find themselves with failing eyesight, at least to the point where they need “cheaters” to read the fine print on the prescription bottle. Some find their hearing to be diminished, often due to harsh conditions of an earlier age. Still, others find themselves suffering the ravages of time in their joints, or mental capabilities. Such are the creeping pressure of retaining a positive perception on life.

Yet, we often hear, “you are only as old as your mind says you are.” It is from this perspective that we may reassess our current perspectives, regardless of our chronological age, or infirmities. Nowhere does it say that we are to be “stuck in a rut,” and a victim of our current condition.

Indeed, we are called to come out of the low places and walk on the higher, straight path with our Creator. As the Psalmist so clearly expressed, “This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

What a remarkable perspective to carry in the deepest recesses of our hearts. This very day is the sublime creation of the Lord, our God. Each particle of our world, our being, and our presence was made by His hands. These gifts, including our own presence with Him, calls for a constant reflection and reappraisal of our perspectives.

If we are in doubt, as believing Christians, we need to address our perspectives. If we are only “cafeteria Christians,” allowing ourselves to pick and choose what we like, and rejecting the rest, then our perspectives may be skewed, towards darkness.

This is why a continuous perspective assessment effort is so necessary to maintain our relationship with God.

Yes, this is the day that the Lord made, but in it we are constantly assailed by the distractions of this world, and the gravity of our egos, without Him.

Submitting to the siren song of the world is not the perspective He seeks from other, Rather, He calls us to be rejoicing in the Lord always, and honoring our neighbors, as ourselves.

Now here is a perspective we all can live with.