April 11, 2011
A fifth-grade teacher took her class to an art museum. Throughout the day, they looked at numerous pieces of art from all different time periods. The curator of the museum accompanied them to one specific painting that hung on a wall. He stopped the class and asked a simple question: What do you see?
For a short time the class was silent. Then, slowly, students began speaking. One little girl said the painting looked like a rainbow caught in a windstorm and all the colors got mixed around. One of the boys in the back was reminded of summertime. Another girl said she liked the pretty flowers.
This went on until finally one boy exclaimed, If you ask me, it just looks like something my little brother brought home from preschool that my mom put on the fridge.
Funny how one painting can mean so many different things to different people.
Life is like the painting, and as we look at our lives, our perception is shaped by our personal experiences and circumstances. We each have different lenses through which we see the world. These lenses influence the way we perceive God and faith, and define our views of success and failure.
What you see determines where you are headed. Direction is driven by perspective. If the lens you use to view yourself is focused on failures from your past, it is impossible to see the future God has for you. Vision is simply what you see.
As you engage in this My One Word experiment, clarity and direction are needed for growth to occur. Focusing on your circumstances and the regrets from your past will place your pursuit in neutral and can even shift things into reverse. When you live this way you not only see your past; you also live life running from it. Without realizing it, you are walking into the future backwards.
Why does this picture of your old self remain at the forefront of your attention? Why do you let this become the lens that defines your future? The reasons vary:
- Every time you pay for the mistakes of the past it serves as a reminder of the person you once were.
- Those labels of being worthless and a bad seed are challenging to remove from your heart and head.
- When youve been told your entire life you are unlovable you begin to believe the lie and let that define you.
- Old habits die hard and fight to remain in control.
Why do you stay in neutral by focusing on the failures of the past? Where is your lens set? Your Word will be determined by your vision. Instead of spending your time trying not to be the kind of person you once were, place your gaze on the person you want to become.