Monday, July 9, 2007

When Your View Is Obscured

I’d have a great view, if that building wasn’t in my way!

Do we not usually face much of life with such pessimism? We allow circumstances to dictate our outlook on life, rather than forge attitudes that transcend the moment and are attuned to something higher, something deeper.

That which is higher is the great hope we possess. I am reminded of the story of Dietrich Bonhoffer being led to his death in the Nazi gas chamber. Bonhoffer was a man of faith who professed Christ as his Lord. It is said, as the soldiers led him away to a certain appointment with death, Bonhoffer recited the words of Peter: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1.3-4). Bonhoffer’s sight was not blinded by the concrete bunker that would become his grave. His sight was set on something far higher.

That which is deeper is the peace that rests within us. I heard the story, recently, of a young man who became seriously ill on a backpacking trip in the Pecos Wilderness. During the middle of the night, he was struck by a life-threatening case of high altitude sickness. His five friends had to literally carry him off the mountain in a desperate search for help. Several hours later they were able to find the emergency help he needed, but, it was a very close call. As the young man and his friends related his story to a newspaper reporter, they repeatedly brought up the subject of faith. Their trek off of the mountain and to safety was filled with uncertainty and even much fear, but their deep abiding faith kept them strong and at peace.

There is a building that blocks my view (it stands between my house and the beautiful La Plata Mountains), yet I will not allow it to spoil my perception of the awesome world that God has created. Perhaps I can carry the same outlook when faced with more significant obstacles in life.