On our recent trip to Colorado, I was absolutely enchanted with the aspen forests, displaying their glorious fall foliage on the mountainsides. It seemed like each turn of the road revealed new vistas of the trees in blazing colors - golden, orange, red, green and yellow. It was as if they were on fire! All I wanted to do was get out of the car and walk into one of the forests so I could experience it from underneath the incredible leaves.
One day, we spotted a perfect forest to explore from a vantage point on roadside pull-out. Through our binoculars, we looked across a wide canyon at a blazing hillside, and discovered that a dirt road wound right though it - and after consulting our map, we decided to take a hike there the next day. I couldn't wait to get inside that solid mass of color!
And when we got to the interior of that golden aspen forest, it was indeed...absolutely breathtaking. It was a cathedral of trees: quiet, except for the rustling of the leaves above, and there was an incredible sense of wonder that enveloped me as we stepped into the sanctuary. Within seconds, I stopped in complete amazement and turned in all directions. "Ohhhhhhh...." was all I could say. I could hardly take in all the beauty.
The floor of the forest was so much more open than I'd expected! There were huge spaces between each white trunk, leaving room for a soft undergrowth of grasses and shrubby plant life. We followed a meandering little animal trail, and admired the towering trees that formed a solid canopy above. I remembered how, from our far-off vantage point the day before, this forest looked so massive and formidible, I couldn't see any individual trees.
But from here, right up close, I could see how each aspen had its own space - each had its own uniquely patterned trunk - and it was only waaaaay above my head that their branches touched and interlocked to create their shimmering cathedral ceiling.
That day I was reminded, in such a beautiful way, how in life, vantage point makes all the difference. It is so easy to miss the forest for the trees....or get so wrapped up in the trees that you miss the glorious forest they are creating. I took a deep breath of the crisp air and thought of how many times I've been so focused on the obstacles I've faced that I've missed the grace God was providing for me to get through them. How I would get so tired of the daily tasks of motherhood that I failed to see the progress that was happening right before my eyes as my children grew and matured. Or how sometimes I still get so overwhelmed with the enormity of my problems that I fail to see the individual steps I can take to solve them. I am forever thinking tasks are so big, so intimidating, that I don't see the small, simple things I can do to accomplish them.
Forests. Trees. So often I'm blinded by one for the other.
Today's Small Thing is to change your vantage point.
Perhaps you are facing something that seems just too big to handle and you can't make any sense of it all. Or maybe you have a vision for your life that feels unattainable, unreachable. You can see the solid mass of forest, but not the trees it will take to make it.
Maybe you are stuck in the daily-ness of raising children, a difficult health situation or a job that seems pointless - trees that are blocking your view from a glorious canopy just above you.
I challenge you to step back from your life for just a moment and ask God to help you see beyond it to the to the work He is doing. Allow Him to give you wisdom to see the forest - or trees - that will make all the difference in how you view your circumstance. Changing your vantage point will give you a whole new perspective and will lighten the burden you're carrying because you'll be able to see a bigger picture. Trust Him to show you the details you've been missing, and to give you a grand view of what He is creating in and through you. His beautiful plan for you is unfolding....and you've got a front row seat.
“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.” A.W. Tozer
My question to you: how will changing your perspective transform your world today?