I’ve been playing with a metaphor lately. It’s not a new one. But, I still like it. I probably like it because it tickles my fascination with architecture – blueprints, construction and the finished product.
A few years ago, my wife gave me an architecture program for my computer. Within 6 months I had seven different renovation plans for our home. Shortly thereafter, during a three month remodel of our pool that drove my wife crazy, I realized that we would never remodel our home, thus all my plans only served as entertainment.
We have since moved into a newer home that doesn’t need any remodeling. I threw away the computer programs last week. I guess I need a new outlet. So, I turn to the metaphor.
Imagine that you are in a room. It can be large or small, full or empty. The important image is that you are standing in one place in the room, looking at everything that is in it. That place provides you with a perspective of the room.
In our new home, we are hanging pictures. In fact, my wife created this giant picutre wall with nearly 30 picture frames. When I stand in one place in the room, I get one view of the wall, with the front door in the background. From another point in the room, I’m looking down on the wall from the stairs. Each view of the same wall, gives me a different perspective of the room. If I move my eyes around the room from that same perspective I can see some things more clearly from that point in the room than I can from another point in the room.
Our perspective is singular. We tend to see the world from where we stand.
Take any political or social issue. State your opinion and why you think that. Now, try to move around the room. Difficult, huh?
For some reason, people in our culture believe if we change our perspective, it communicates a weakness in our belief system or an inability to make definitive decisions on things that are important in life. Hogwash.
It is the ability to move around the room that opens up a world of possibilities. Yes. Cause and effect become more complicated. The room goes from being black and white to a multi-color status with one color bleeding into another.
And, when I begin to move around the room in my home, I realize that while the front door is closed, there are three other doors in the room and one may be open, thereby leading me into another room with even greater possiblities and, yes, a completely new perspective.
Since I began the Youth Ministry Institute six years ago I have been walking through a lot of open doors. Early on, I banged my head on a few closed doors, too, trying to get through. But, I quickly realized that God wanted me to move around the room and only walk through open doors.
About the same time as YMI came into being, my wife and I started praying a prayer when we came to a crossroads regarding a family decision. It went something like this, “Dear God, make it stinking obvious!” That prayer became a centering prayer for us. It centered us on God, while we changed our perspective. The number of open doors we have walked through in the last six years are too numerous to count. Our friendships are deeper and broader. Our sense of purpose is clearer.
I guess I’m having fun with the architecture of my life, knowing that I’m not the designer. I simply get to wander around that which has been constructed for me. Oh, I’m still making decisions. The big decision was to move off of the spot in the first room.