Yesterday my lovely bride and I took a ride back into our old neighborhood in Morrisville to get our hair trimmed. At this point I plan to keep going back to this particular hair salon as the gals always make a fuss over Piper and interact with her like she is a real person… and not like an invalid that most people tend to ignore! They also do a great job on her hair… and mine as well… although, I must say that no one has ever trimmed my hair as good as Piper used to! I guess that since she started cutting my hair in college, that she gained LOTS of experience over the years!
I discovered a country road not too long after our move that by passes the two towns of Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs and then gets you back to highway 55 going toward Apex, Cary and Morrisville. This road is spectacular with views of rolling countryside’s, large fields that grow cotton and other crops, old country houses and barns and numerous little old time farm communities like Wilbon, Rawls and Piney Grove. As we motored over the winding roads with the throaty roar of the tuned exhaust of our Mustang, I could not help but point out everything I was seeing and reminisce to Piper of how the area reminded me of sights and sounds around my God-parent’s peach and almond ranch in the central valley of California where my family visited on occasion when I was young.
Suddenly the solitude of my thoughts and joy filled exclamations was broken when the ring of my cell phone brought me back to reality! It kind of freaked me out a bit when I reached down to pick it up and noticed that the face of the phone was radiating an eerie - out of this world - green tone as it projected a number with our California area code. But then as I attempted to shake off that strange science fiction feeling, I realized that I had on my amber sunglasses. When I removed them the screen returned to its normal – of this earth – shade of black and white!
The call ended up being a pre-recorded message telling me how lucky I was because my number was selected for a discounted stay at a Marriott Hotel! I had to laugh as I quickly pressed the dis-connect button and put the phone down… but the thought of that eerie green color on my phone stuck with me for a while.
This morning as I read Ephesians 4:12 from the 1889 Darby Bible, a translation I hardly ever look at, I was captivated by its literal translation of Paul’s job descriptions of the five-fold ministries mentioned in the previous verse. John Nelson Darby was an Anglo-Irish Bible teacher and lived from 1800 to 1882. His students completed and published the 1889 revised version of His earlier translations of the Old and New Testaments. He defined Paul’s understanding of the roles of these gifts to the church by stating that they were there “for the perfecting of the saints, with a VIEW to the work of the ministry, with a VIEW to the edifying of the body of Christ.”
The word “VIEW” caught my attention and made me recall the incident with my phone and I immediately realized that this is the VIEW that I as a pastor, tend to have of those I encounter in my daily life! And then to add to that revelation was the realization that during most of my adult life, I have been in leadership roles in both the church and with secular jobs as well. So, my pastoral VIEW of others has been prevalent wherever I have worked!
As a supervisor or manager in some of the secular positions I have held, I always sought to get to know my team members and be available to them if they ever needed an ear or a pastoral point of VIEW on something that they may be encountering in their personal lives or in their jobs. Looking back now, I can see that on a couple of occasions, I allowed my pastoral VIEW and strong desire to help them out to cloud my ability to accurately see and respond to some of the problems they were having or causing on the job!
I also realize that it is one of the reasons I got so frustrated, confused, hurt and angry at the way some folks responded to my wife’s rapidly declining health a few years back. I expected them to react like I did, with the same VIEW that I had, with a desire backed by actions that would help to perfect or ready us for what we were facing and support, edify or encourage us as our world was turned upside down. But that didn’t happen and it was like I was slapped across the face!
But through the years since then I have become a LOT less black and white with my understanding of human nature! And while I may disagree with some folks choices, I am less likely to be upset with them or condemn them and be more likely to lovingly pray for them! They say that we mellow with age… and I definitely would agree with that! Although I will admit that my personal beliefs haven’t mellowed but grown stronger as I have grown older in the physical and spiritual realms. What has mellowed is how I now understand and love on those who differ from me and the way that I VIEW and then ACT on the events that unfold before me each day.
How about you? What is your VIEW on life? What is your VIEW of those who differ from you? What is your VIEW and subsequent actions with those who criticize and/or upset you?
Have a great weekend and as you do, think about your VIEW and keep asking yourself… “How am I expecting my VIEW to direct my actions today?”