I love the way perspective works, by definition it is a point of view. Sometimes you can be looking at an object and just changing your position relative to the object changes the entire scenario. For example, I can look out my front window in my living room and see a limb down in my yard. I can go to another window in the front of the house and see it closer and/or from another angle.
Perspective can also change the way you think. You can see a situation from your perspective and by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, the situation looks entirely different. Or you can see something one way and by just shifting your focus, you begin to see things differently.
In our sermon yesterday, we were studying Romans 12. The first verse in chapter 12 tells us to become living sacrifices. Our preacher said instead of thinking of this as self-denial, rather think of it as self-contribution.
This idea changes everything for me. It isn’t that self-denial is not a part of this, but rather that the idea of being a contributor to this life is absolutely life changing.
So, how? How does this change things and what does it have to do with disability?
I often feel I waste so much needless time and energy trying to figure out where I fit in the scope of life. Things get me down, my life dealing with disability is so different from others, I have to do things and see things that many other people will never do in their lifetime, I complain, I worry, and I am often frustrated.
But, this one perspective shift from self-denial to self-contribution changes everything for me. In case you missed all the I’s and me’s in the above paragraph I mentioned myself and my situation 9 times.
Now, my life is different and I do things that are often hard. But if only I can just shift my perspective and realize that what I do and experience can actually help someone else is a whole new ball game.
Contribution as living sacrifice means so much more than just self-denial. It takes my life a step further and makes it meaningful. Not just for myself, but for everyone around me.
This is so huge and important to understand. When we find ourselves down and out, tired and lifeless, frozen and terrified by life, just shift your perspective and figure out what you can do to contribute to make things better.
Verse 1 and 2 of chapter 12 actually reads,
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – is good, pleasing and perfect will.” NIV
Here it is in The Message,
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
We have perspective that others are not privy to, so live your life in such a way that others see God in all you do, especially in all you do with disability. Contribute and quickly respond to it, as The Message mentioned.