Have you ever been in traffic … (who hasn’t?) and couldn’t see what was holding you up? All you knew was that everything was at a sudden standstill. You didn’t know if there was an accident or road construction or a dog in the road…or what. You wondered if you would be stuck for an hour or 3 minutes.
Sometimes when things are slowed down like this, motorists, eager to see what is going on, get out of their cars to walk to the shoulder to see if they can see around the line of traffic…to see how far traffic is backed up, if there are emergency vehicles or what…
Sometimes, you can see or hear helicopters circling overhead. These vehicles are often associated with news traffic reports. They have a different perspective. Where we on the ground see only what is in front of us…limited vision at best…the pilot of the helicopter has a totally different–more effective–vantage point. He sees things more accurately. That is why what they see is often broadcast to us through our radio stations. It helps us to know what to avoid or where to head next or how soon we can expect traffic to begin rolling again.
There is a need for me to realize that sometimes my perspective skews things. What I think is TRUTH may not actually BE truth. One way this affects me is with regard to how I view “obedience” or cooperating with God in the standards to which he calls. He wants me to glorify him in my eating and drinking.
So the Hallidays make a valid point:
Obedient responsibility for our bodies and choosing to eat only when we are hungry and stopping before we’re full can be perceived either as an objectionable obligation or as an inviting opportunity. GTST, p. 171
It is a matter of perspective. How do I see things? Do I see the big picture? Like the helicopter pilot above the traffic jam? Or do I see it as an irritation that is going to ruin my hour, my day, my week!?
The way this is stated, it really makes it clear. I can be a baby having a tantrum or delight in being invited into fellowship with God where he cares even about what seems so mundane in my life!
Love for God shifts our attitude from the objectionable, “I have to avoid it at all costs,” to loving response, “It’s a choice I want to make,” in obedience to him. Since all of this originated from the love of God, our new attitude arises from our deep assurance of God’s good will toward us. We come ultimately to the sure knowledge that pursuing godly choices will result in a depth of joy and satisfaction that makes every other pleasure and gratification seem trivial. GTST, p. 171-172
A shift in my perspective will enable me to recognize the hunger in my soul, the agitation, the tendency toward rebellion welling up in me and trust that God wants it surfaced and that HE will meet it, HIS way, in HIS time. I don’t need to shove it down and pretend it isn’t there. Recognize it. Give voice to it (this is showing respect), and present it to God – “Lord, what will you do with this?”
The basis for our choices then becomes not what will gratify my desire immediately, but what will satisfy my hunger for God and His righteousness. With this silent hunger at the core of our being, we develop a profound desire to respond in obedience to God by honoring our bodies. GTST, p. 172
This change in perspective will change everything…everything. I delight in the invitation to walk with God and to hear him whisper to me about what I eat or drink. I won’t resent his intrusion or minimize his presence. I will thank him that he wants me to be aware of him. So high and lifted up, yet intimate in the moment with me…right now…with you right now. He is here, he touches you, he delights over you with singing right now. He invites each of us to dine with HIM.
Let’s shift our perspective, shall we? Rather than resent the intrusion, let’s confidently know that he has a greater plan in his sights. It is a GOOD plan. It will bring TRUE joy and TRUE satisfaction to our hearts!