I have a just a few (thousand!) digital photos from my travels 🙂 But the one above is what I have as a background on my iPad. I love the photo itself, but I also love what it reminds me of. The day that I had the privilege of hot-air ballooning across the surreal landscape of Cappadocia.
This remote part of Turkey has a fascinating, alien-like landscape that is an amazing sight to behold in and of itself. What made it even more intriguing was seeing it from a new perspective as we floated above (and even between) it.
In some ways it is nothing out of the ordinary, just rocks and sky, dirt and trees. But we spent a tranquil couple of hours in the air, just wondering and marveling at the earth below us.
Watching the sunrise and the shadows play. Listening to the stillness and contemplating the world in all its varied splendour.
It was a beautiful exercise in seeing things from a different perspective and these photos remind me that that is not a bad metaphor to take into other areas of life.
With photography, some of the most beautiful and memorable images from around the world have happened when someone took their camera and looked at things from a slightly different angle, gaining a new perspective on what is seen.
Some of the best inventions and innovations in the world have come about when someone dared to look at an age-old problem from a new perspective.
I think seeing with a different perspective is a helpful picture of what study is all about. I love the insights I gain when I take something I know a little about, and ask new questions, or bring new perspectives to bear on it, and suddenly more that was previously unknown is revealed.
I hope that in my vocation, as I teach and preach, that I am able to help others look at things with a new perspective. I teach the Bible, which doesn’t change. But we can always look at it and listen to it in new ways, and God speaks amazing truth when we have our perspective shifted, even if only ever so slightly.
And in the end, I think is a pretty good picture for what my faith in Jesus means to me. I spoke at a youth group Q and A night on Friday, and one of the questions was “What difference does being a Christian make to your every day life?” My answer was that it completely changes not only the way I see the world, but the very way that I understand what it is to be in the world, and therefore the way that I am in the world.
I have a new perspective on who I am, and how valuable people are, and what the purpose of life is, and what the goal of history is, and how I want to live all of that out. I have been transformed and I want to be a part of seeing the world transformed.
Today, like every day, is a good day to stop and look at the world around from a new perspective.