Mark Affleck

I Woke Up To A 360 Degree View Of MY LIFE

August 30, 2021
Spiritual Growth

When I woke up this morning to a stunning, 360o view of the mountains just south of Yosemite National Park on America’s west coast, God pushed me to “seek perspective on my faith walk by looking down on your life periodically to see where you are and where I want you to go.”
It makes sense!
Right now I am looking down on a nearby town starting to stir and greet the new day. Situated on a mountain’s flat bench, the tableau below allows me to see EVERYTHING in context. The town. The roads. The river slicing through the mountains and their towering sequoia trees. All of it.
Right then I understood God’s direction to “search and know my heart” (Psalm 139:23).
I quickly thought of a story from the Holy Land in 800 BC about two birds in a tree. One is in the lower branches and the other is at the tree’s upper reaches admiring the stunning view, just like me this morning.
The bird occupying the LOWER part represents the anxious state of constant motion and completely BLIND to the bigger picture.
The bird perched comfortably in the tree’s UPPER branches has a sweeping, 360o perspective of the world below. The individual parts. The groups and patterns. The collective whole.
My experience this morning was a powerful reminder to periodically create distance from my life’s daily hustle. Here are just a few of myriad BENEFITS from periodic trips to the mountaintop to review our life and faith walk:

  • Hit the refresh button and increase self-awareness.
  • Reduce emotion and slow down the pace of life.
  • Rewind our “life tape” and identify blind spots.

Doing that allows us to consider:

  • Do I like what is playing below? What would I change?
  • Am I ignoring someone who needs my attention, love, or time?
  • Am I in touch with how my current mood/attitude looks and feels?
  • Am I living the habits of a disciple: Word; Prayer; Fellowship; and Tithing?

We know God wants us to EXAMINE OUR HEART. The challenge is doing that regularly and deeply to pierce the superficiality that easily drapes our life.
I ask God to keep me coming up to the mountaintop for a look at my life’s bigger picture and to seek HIS PERSPECTIVE over mine. To help me maintain an ongoing, reflective probe into my relationship and walk with him. To show me where I need to change. To guide me toward your light and away from life’s darkness.
When was the last time you went up on a mountain and looked down on your life’s big picture? Your attitude? Your relationships? Your walk with Christ?

“Examine me, God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts. Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24

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