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Perspective Keeper


I dabble in photography for fun. One look through a lens and I see a story unfolding before me. The chance to capture color, detail, and the unique beauty of what the camera expresses allows me to look at things from many different angles. It’s an opportunity to look at one object or point on the horizon and change the light to see the same shot from a different perspective. You might call me a perspective keeper when I hold my camera up to create a new thing.

It’s the same in my daily life. I make a choice every day to choose a perspective of joy or despair. Put more simply, I can rephrase that  to say I can choose to look at each day as a “have to” or a “get to.” Just like a photographer changes the shutter speed, the amount of light, or whether to zoom in or out, I can do the same with my perspective when I begin my day.

I’m not sure who first described the perspective switch between “have to” and “get to”, but it has led me to pause before looking at the day ahead as a burden. For years, I woke up daily and prepared to teach. During most of those thirty years, I would tell anyone who asked that I have to teach or I have to work. I forgot how to acknowledge the gift of having a job. Instead, of starting my day with gratitude, I took on the burden of what I had to do.

I began to ask myself how would my day look different if I chose to name my daily activities as things I “get to” to do? How would my perspective change if I started each day with a grateful heart? What would it look like for you to ask the same questions? Would the focus of your day improve if you chose to name your daily activities as things you “get to” do, rather than “have to” do?

Well, I’ve tried the “get to” perspective now, and the last few years have been a game changer for me. I no longer dread the coming day, but look forward with gratitude and expectancy. Each morning as I wake up, I thank God for the gift of a new day. I run through the upcoming schedule in my head knowing I “get to” enjoy what’s next because God gifted me with another day. I’m not perfect at this new point of view, but my job as perspective keeper is more fun because I’m highlighting the positive of what is to come.

FOR FURTHER THOUGHT  I love that God gives us a new day and doesn’t get tired of us when we need to begin fresh. He just wants us to do our best at loving Him and others. When I changed two words in my thinking, I underwent a radical change for how the rest of my day turned out. I know I am better when I rejoice each day that I “get to” be who God created me to be.

Today you can become your own perspective keeper. As you begin the process of mapping out what your day looks like, you can start small by writing or naming each task by putting “I get to” in front of it. Start small and try doing this for a week. The more comfortable you get with the new language, the longer you will sustain the new perspective.

I am learning that when my heart is focused on Jesus not only are all things possible, but I broaden my perspective to include those people I interact with throughout my day. These words from Colossians describe it well.

He Is Your Life ] So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Colossians 3:1-2 MSG

PRAYER Heavenly Father, Today you took the time to grant me a new day. As I begin the day, allow me to view the mundane as little gifts from you. In the process of looking at my day, help me see that nothing is a mistake in your economy and it is with pleasure I am allowed to do something as simple as the laundry. I thank you for providing a new perspective that keeps my eyes focused on you. On the days I struggle to keep a perspective of gratitude, reframe my thinking to align with yours. You are the God of do-overs and new days. It is you I praise and thank for this beautiful new day. Amen.

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