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VIDEO: FAITH- Intentionally impacting your perspective

Rev. Brad McKenzie

The past week or so, my family and I have been very intentional about listening to the cicadas call out in their nightly cacophony of buzzing crescendos. It reminds me greatly of spending the later parts of summer at my grandfather’s farm in rural Oklahoma. I will admit that this rural area probably did not have many copy machines at the time, but the memories I made in those moments, colored a facsimile of time and emotion shaping my values and establishing my identity.

The sounds at night are what I cherish the most. Honestly, it was the cicadas that soothed me to sleep in the midst of the attic fan used at night to cool the house and the looming sound of coyotes easily heard though the screened open windows. It is astonishing how different the world of my childhood is from my own children.

Perspective is the reason I bring this story to you.  Every single living person has a perspective on particular events, the people they know, and life in general.  Our perspective has a strong influence on how we either react or respond to the circumstances and humanity of life.

Personal perspective seems to be harder to change either by getting older, or by the greater impact of both positive and negative experiences which create deep imprints on our soul.  Our approach to personal growth and change, both change we intend to make, and changes imputed on us, is influenced by our willingness to grow and change the perceptions we have about others and life.

I am not sure who to blame: myself; culture; the internet?  Maybe no one is to blame, but my children growing up in such a drastically different world than I or my wife did is obviously real, but maybe my perspective could be different here as I try to guide them to have some of the perspectives spending time on the farm gave me.

I think of how I treasure the memories of the sounds, the smells, the experiences, and the people of my upbringing, especially those weeks spent with my grandfather there in that special place.  Those days shaped me to appreciate the simplicity and wonder of a clear night sky where you could see millions of stars because of no light pollution.  The joy of not only hearing but acknowledging the sounds of nature and the creatures those sounds represented.  The satisfaction of eating fresh fruit you had harvested as well as the bubble gum you purchased with money you had earned by feeding the animals and cleaning the stalls.  Learning the value of hard work, and the appreciation of knowing your work helped your family!

Simplicity, wonder, joy, satisfaction, value, and appreciation have the potential to color human perspectives, and these attributes are still available to our children today, we must be intentional about instilling them.  When you study perspective, most will say it is all in the mind.  If this is true, then where our mind is seems integral to where our life will be.  ‘Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. ‘ Colossians 3:2

Be careful of what you think about, it greatly impacts your perspective!  You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.