Perspective is everything!

"Am I "seeing" today in God's light? Or is it a purely human agenda (my own and other people's) taking up my entire field of vision? How burdonsome that can be. And what a relief it is to let light in; that is, hand it all over to God and re-focus on His presence in the whole picture. Perspective is everything!"
~ Sister Vassa Larin

 

This part of Sister Vassa's devotion for May 19th in her book  Reflections With Morning Coffee really hit home this past week.  Often as I work myself up over recent events and anxious thoughts of the future and hurts from the past, I loose sight of this simple and obvious reality.  Perspective really is everything. When we come out of our own field of vision, the anxiety lessens.  When we re-focus on God's presence, everything looks so different!

Recent events in our lives have led me to seeking His word more often - more time alone with Him and more devotion and prayer.  And more listening....  One prayer stays at the forefront of my mind.  It's from Philippians.  It speaks of thanksgiving (gratitude) and changing perspective from anxiety to one of thanks and focusing  on things that are lovely and praiseworthy.  Perspective IS EVERTHING!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.           Philippians 4:6-9

 

Our struggles and challenges are real.  But we need not give all of our energy to being anxious over them.  We can focus on what is lovely.  Perspective is everything!

 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, a sinner.

 

 

5

I enjoy reading books on Orthodoxy.  I should probably write a few book reviews on them to support the reading of my Orthodox followers.  I did write about one in particular a few weeks ago, The Ascetic Lives of Mothers by Annalisa Boyd.  But sometimes I don't have time to read a long book.  Yet I still need the uplifting words of our saints or spiritual fathers.  For those moments, a few short quotes can bring peace to my soul and reflection throughout the day.

"Love every person regardless of his sinful state.  Sin is sin but the basis of a human being is one and only - the image of God."  - St. John of Kronstadt
"Through the prayer, man is cleansed, brightened, sanctified. " -Elder Amphilochios of Patmos

"The first step toward freedom from anger is to keep the lips silent when the heart is stirred; the next to keep thoughts silent when the soul is upset; the last to be totally calm when unclean winds are blowing."   - St. John Climacus

"Leave all human justices to the Lord for God is the Judge.  But as for yourself, be diligent in loving everybody with a pure heart.  You must remember that you yourself are a great sinner and in need of God's mercy.  But in order to deserve God's mercy, we must forgive in every way.  The Lord is everything to all;  He is the Judge as well as the generous Giver of gifts and mercy and cleansing from sins and the light, the peace, the joy and the strength of the heart."   -St. John of Kronstadt

"Let us not forget the words of Scripture that say, 'God's power is made perfect in weakness!' (2 Cor. 12.9). And let us not forget that whenever insurmountable hardships are overcome; whenever turmoil is replaced by tranquility; whenever persistent doubts are put to rest; whenever smoothing comes to be out of nothing at all -- there we can clearly discern the indiscernible Right Hand of God, we witness firsthand the unmistakable Will of God!"  - St. Raphael of Brooklyn

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  - Philippians 4:13