There are so many ways to view life. In my (reasonably short) time on earth, one thing is becoming clearer every day. What I get in life is all about how I choose to see the world around me. Perspective is the steering wheel for any persons’ story. Whatever we turn our life towards, whatever we choose to focus on, is where we are going to end up.
Without being too philosophical, I believe it’s important to realise that we all have our own way of seeing and understanding the elements that construct what we call life. Here are a few perspectives I have encountered:
1. Life is a Chessboard
In this world everything is either right or wrong; black or white. Everything has its place and there is always an opposition or threat to what you have. Certain people are useful for certain tasks – but only those tasks. Just like a rook cannot move in a straight line, people cannot change.
Pros: Life is calculated. There is always a clear goal. If you are good at the ‘game of life’, you are winning.
Cons: If things aren’t going your way, you feel like you’re failing. ‘Checkmates’ are a danger when you lose focus. Once you win in one area, you just reset the board and start again.
2. Life is a Wedding
As a musician, I have played countless weddings. To be honest, most of the time I could jump into my car, drive home and still tell you exactly what will happen next at the reception – when they will cut the cake, do the toast and the first dance. At this kind of wedding, tradition takes priority – always over what is meaningful, and normally over what is affordable as well. In this world, life is celebrated according to the standards of others. If things aren’t done in a certain way, you risk being disgraced. There are normally schedules and processes in place and everyone is expected to involve themselves for the vision to be executed.
Pros: Life is inclusive. There is a festive air to every day. There is a simple, elegant structure that life fits into. Done right, life is photogenic. You are the centre of attention.
Cons: The hard seasons in life are ignored or suppressed, as they would detract from the ‘party’. Huge energy and expense is endured to match the standards of those you want to consider friends.
3. Life is a Pie at a Picnic
It can be a sweet apple, or a meaty pepper steak pie – but this perspective is all about consumption. Your hunger for life is only outweighed by how much of that life you think you have. As you do life with others, there is a struggle to keep your ‘piece of the pie’ safe. You claim what you want and then fight off anyone who might want to ‘take a bite’.
Pros: You want to be part of something bigger. You are ambitious – always up to claim more for yourself.
Cons: Anyone who achieves what you want is stealing from you. If you miss your opportunity, it’s gone. Greed outweighs your own need for nourishment – you will end up sitting hungry and alone with a moulding portion of ‘pie’ that has long passed its best before date.
All of these perspectives are justified and – most of the time – inherited from those around you. I have put great effort into staying objective in observing these different ‘perspectives’. I cannot claim to have achieved it fully, but I hope that it has provoked you to think about how you see life.
All of us have experienced the consequences of these perspectives to some degree. Maybe you feel like you’re failing in life. Maybe you are fighting every day to fit the mould of those around you. Or maybe you are clinging onto things that have lost their meaning or usefulness. Then it’s time to address your perspective – change what you see and you change what you will get. The easiest, most effective way that I have been able to do this is by asking God for His view of things. Follow the link below if you are interested in finding out what He thinks your life could look like.