View Beyond by Robin Densmore Fuson
Where is your focus? How is your perspective?
Plants grow super-fast in Florida. We trim hedges and bushes in the spring and watch them grow. We need to keep after them or they take over. Some plants shouldn’t be trimmed in the summer because it is too hot while others are a weekly or monthly persistent undertaking.
Behind our house is a small forest. The project planner of our neighborhood was a genius. He put in cul-de-sacs as well as regular streets creating unique shapes. Each house has a forest on at least one side, preferably the back, and a skinny strip between houses.
One morning, I came into our family room and did what I typically do, my eyes went to the window to gaze at the forest. The trees are a superhighway for squirrels, where birds fly, and butterflies flitter. Moss hangs from some of the oak trees, a few of the trunks and branches are bent and gnarly where the imagination takes over and you’re sure there are gnomes, elves, fairies, and other such creatures living among them. Scattered throughout are magnificent straight tall pine trees that produce massive cones. The forest is impressive and alive with life and full of stories if one were to capture them.
At that particular moment, I couldn’t see the forest. A bush, normally kept at a respectable squatty height so its beauty is seen from the outside but doesn’t poke up too high to interfere with my view from the inside over the top of its green fluff, seemed to have grown overnight. “Jimmy, honey, can you please sculpt the bush so I can see beyond the bounds of its bushy mass?” I waxed eloquently.
Jimmy engrossed in his novel or commentary, well, whatever, said, “Huh?”
I smiled and batted my eyelashes. “The bush outside needs pruning. It’s blocking my view and I want to see into the forest. If you have time can you do that today?” It’s nice to have a husband who is retired and can ‘find’ time to do many honey-do things for me.
In an hour, I again went into the room and a clear view of the forest greeted me. Did someone also wash the windows?
I scanned the beautiful woods and not a creature stirred but my heart stirred. Perspective. How many times in my life had I let the bushes grow untamed in my worldview so I didn’t notice the big picture just beyond?
Did I get blinded by life’s trials and troubles? Did I ever push at them and move them so I could glimpse the world outside of my shrouded one? How many times did the problem of the day stop me from seeing the huge and mighty plan that the Lord had for my life? My children’s lives? Jimmy’s life?
Sometimes we see the difficulty or trial in front of us, and we focus so much there, that we neglect to see God working in the future and through the circumstance.
The problem was real and needed attention but it wasn’t my whole life. God in His abundant love and grace had much more to offer me. He would help me navigate on the far side of the bush so I could enjoy a rich life. But sometimes, I sat there behind the bush of troubles and not taken the time to cut the thing out, so I could enjoy the large picture.
We need to focus past the obstacle, give it the attention it needs, but not dwell on it. We need to trust God to work on it with us and know he will get us through and that He has a big picture objective in store for us. We should to fix our gaze on the unseen things the Lord has for us.
We need to know there is a forest and ought to look far afield of the bush. Our perspective may need some introspection and prayer to see beyond the issue at hand.
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NLT)