The power of perspective

The newest internet debate struck with a force yesterday as people everywhere debated whether they heard the word Yanny or Laurel in this audio clip (Listen Here).  This was likened to the 2015 Blue or Gold dress debate. This morning I had my whole family listen to the link, and while I heard Yanny clear as day, several of our kids only heard Laurel. How is that possible?!

These little phenomena bring to light a real-life truth, perspective matters. In the case of this audio clip, some simple modifications (type of speakers, frequency level) can change what you hear pretty miraculously. It’s not so different in real life. We may feel so strongly one way about something, but if we shift our perspective just slightly, we have a completely different view. 

The Israelites struggled with this repeatedly after Moses brought them out of Egypt. God did the miraculous through Moses, showing signs and wonders and sending plagues to Egypt and finally convincing Pharaoh to let the slaves go, parting the Red Sea, and even conquering Pharaohs army as they pursued them. Yet the people of Israel quickly changed their perspective as soon as they faced trouble in the wilderness. They began complaining to Moses, they’d rather be back in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh where they ate plenty, than the comfortless freedom they now had. Repeatedly, they grumbled and complained about their circumstances, instead of trusting that the God that led them out of Egypt, would continue to provide for them. Often this distrust led to more than just grumbling, and into blatant sin as they attempted to take matters into their own hands. For this, God kept his covenant to bring Israel into the promised land, but no one in that first generation (save Joshua and Caleb) would ever see that day.

I fall into this same trap of perspective in parenting. For years it was the greatest desire and prayer to become parents.  Everyone seemed to be getting accidentally pregnant around us and for almost 5 years we remained childless. Finally, through foster care and adoption we became parents for the first time. Now years later, those struggles sometimes seem so distant, and I take for granted the gift of parenthood, as I complain and grumble about the daily needs and demands of our children. If I shift my perspective, I can see the gift and joy of caring for little ones, even amidst the hardships. 

Whenever you are tempted to get frustrated about your circumstances, consider the perspective you are viewing them through. Are you trusting in the Lord or feeling defeated? Do you have a sense of hope or despair? Are you acting in faith or fear? Do you have a spirit of joy or discontent? Even small adjustments can lead to a real shift in perception. The bible gives us a perspective that offers joy, hope, and faith in light of our circumstances even when things are hard. When you sense a need for a shift in perspective, consider going to the Lord in prayer or to Scripture to see how you may view your circumstance through a different light.