Perspective

Our perception of our world is so much more subjective than we realise. The facts of our situation may remain the same, but a shift in internal perspective can often have a huge impact on how we feel and consequently how we act.

Many years ago when I was postdoc applying for jobs, I couldn’t quite see myself in either of the possible paths which seemed my probable future. I felt quite trapped. Then on the treadmill at gym on day, it suddenly occurred to me that I had never been unemployed, and I had always chosen my next job on the basis of a deep sense of this being the right next step. How could I possibly consider myself to be trapped?

With that one moment everything shifted. No, I didn’t get a job the next day. It would still take about another 18 months until I got a permanent position, but that moment changed everything. The emotional burden of the uncertainty of my position dropped radically, and over time I became far more able to see possibilities which I wouldn’t have even considered before.

I’ve seen similar things happen over and over again over the years. In retrospect what was often the tipping point into a new phase was not so much a shift in external circumstances as an internal one. I can’t help wondering what implications that has as we consider the complex political situations so many are struggling with now. I wonder whether we should be praying the grace of clarity of perspective. I wonder whether that will help.

One thought on “Perspective

  1. Perspective and attitude are so critical as we journey through life. Just like the Israelites continually looked back at their history to assure themselves that God had been there in the past and God would continue to be present for them, I do the same thing in order to keep a proper perspective. You did the same thing when you reminded yourself that you had never been unemployed and that each job had felt right. This perspective reinforces that the future lies in the hands of God. Thanks for sharing this reflection.

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