Thomas B. Wheeler, who served as CEO of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company for many years loves to tell this story on himself.
Wheeler and his wife were driving along an interstate highway when he noticed that their car was low on gas. He got off the highway at the next exit and soon found a rundown gas station with just one gas pump. He asked the lone attendant to fill the tank and check the oil, then went for a little walk around the station to stretch his legs.
As he was returning to the car, he noticed that the attendant and his wife were engaged in an animated conversation. The conversation stopped as he paid the attendant. But as he was getting back into the car, he saw the attendant wave and heard him say, “It was great talking to you.”
As they drove out of the station, Wheeler asked his wife if she knew the man. She readily admitted she did. They had gone to high school together and had dated steadily for about a year.
“Boy, were you lucky that I came along,” bragged Wheeler.
“If you had married him, you’d be the wife of a gas station attendant instead of the wife of a chief executive officer.”
“My dear,” replied his wife, “if I had married him, he’d be the chief executive officer and you’d be the gas station attendant.”
Our word of the week is perspective.
Perspective is the ability to use one’s knowledge in a meaningful way. To take ideas, facts, and information and see a meaningful relationship and a correlation to solving a problem or making a decision.
Perspective sees the big picture. It involves perception. Vision. And discernment.
Paul prayed for the Philippians that “your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment.” Love is important. It is the greatest commandment (Matt 22:37-40) Knowledge is vital. We are commanded to grow in our knowledge (2Pet 3:18). But love for God and knowledge of His Word must find their application in discernment.
Having the right perspective and proper discernment answers the “why” questions of life. The Bible says God “made known His ways to Moses, and His acts to the children of Israel” (Ps 103:7). Note that the people got to see what God did. But Moses got to understand why.
Having the right perspective helps us solve the problems and challenges of life. When the young Shepherd boy David, came to Israel’s camp, he saw them running from the giant Goliath and his boisterous and braggadocious challenge to a winner take all contest. They all ran, but David with faith in God, took the giant down with a single shot from his sling.
Someone quipped that the soldiers all thought, “He’s so big we can never kill him.” David looked at the same giant and thought, “He’s so big I can’t miss.” David’s perspective was bolstered by how God had protected him in the past and delivered him from the paw of the lion and bear that threatened his father’s sheep. So, David confidently affirmed, “God will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:37).
Perspective provides the insight for setting our priorities. Too often our minds become distracted and distraught by the things of this world. In His Mountain Message Jesus said not to worry about food, clothing or shelter, if God provides for the birds of the air, he will take care of you. Then He said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt 6:33).
God gives us an eternal perspective through His Word. Christians view their lives, their purpose, their possessions and their problems differently than the world. We know that this world is not our home. We’re just passing through.
The Christian perspective allows us to look at life through “heaven’s eyes.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman