We live in New York City and it is not at all rare for us to come across a beautiful scene. Like everyone nowadays, we pull out our phones and try to take a picture of the sunset over the skyline or the twinkle of an iconic building. But when we look at the picture on our phones, it never quite matches the majesty of the real-life scene.
The reason for this is because the depth perception of the eye is different than that of a camera. Technology simply cannot create the fullness of the experiences. Besides, when you’re physically present, experiencing a beautiful sight, there is the smell and the feel, the ineffable quality of being there.
Not many of us would look at a picture of Thailand and tell people, “I’ve been there.” Although we can say that we have seen pictures of it, we cannot truly say we have experienced it.
Yet, we do this very thing when it comes to truth. We read the Bible and know the truth, but are we truly experiencing the truths and promises of God in our life? Pursuing a true perspective is like going to visit Thailand - smell the smells, feel the feels, perceive the depth. Too often, we settle for the photographed version of the truth. It is a hint, a shadow, a mere suggestion of the real thing. It is simply knowing without living it.
But what if we were to ask God to give us wisdom as we live these experiences? What if we ask God to help us gain understanding to pursue a true perspective? Our life is going to go through ups and downs, that’s a given. We need wisdom to gain a truer perspective. The Holy Spirit is dwelling in us to guide us through life. Let’s ask Him for understanding and wisdom. Let’s live knowing that the Holy Spirit, also known as our helper, is in us to help us make decisions in this life.
Our world is becoming more and more photographed. We perceive everything through the lens of a screen, dulling our first-hand experience with the truth. The world is an ineffable place filled with majesty and tragedy alike. If we want to perceive it for all it is worth, we must go out into it. Look with honesty at our relationships, our institutions, and our own lives. Bring a community along to help point out the sights and smells you would otherwise miss.
Our photographs are nice. But there is more out there. We settle too often. Fight for understanding. Allow yourself to be challenged with humility. The reward is a clearer image of the truth of our world. Clarity informs our choices and actions. It changes things.