Tuesday, January 12, 2010


"I'll bring the Perspective..."

I was watching one of my favorite animated movies the other day and a line from it stuck out to me in a spiritual way. This is not a normal occurrence, but I figured it was timely given that I had just watched/listened to a sermon out of Mars Hill Church in Seattle called "Humble Christians" (by Mark Driscoll). I can't remember the line from Ratatouille word for word, but it's the part where the food critic Ego comes into Gustav's restaurant for his "final" review. If you don't know the part that I'm talking about I'll explain a little.
The premise of the movie is that a young, out of luck, not good at much human kid is struggling to find his place in life. There is also a parallel storyline where a young rat (literally) is struggling to chase his passions for cooking rather than giving in to the "normal" rat way of just eating garbage. The human kid, and the rat kid, eventually meet up and team up through some random happenstance stuff. The rat is truly the great cook, and the kid just begins to get credit for the cooking because... well, let's face it, a rat cooking in a kitchen is not exactly the chef that humans expect and/or want. So, more funny and random events happen and the movie boils down to this food critic, named Ego, entering the restaurant and challenging the kid to make him something amazing (because, for the movie's sake, Ego's opinion is the only one that matters).
So, now we're at the crux of the movie and the waiter asks what Ego would like to order; Ego replies, "Perspective." Of course the waiter looks at him dumbfounded wondering what he wants (because obviously "perspective" isn't on the menu) and he fumbles all over himself. Ego then goes on to clarify, becoming somewhat miffed at the incompetent waiter, "Very well... if you can't provide the perspective then have the chef serve me something, if he dares, and I'll provide the perspective..." Again, this is loosely quoted, but this isn't my main point.
The main point I'm trying to make is this: "What is the perspective in our life? How do we view life?"
As believers, do we worry about what we're doing? About doing the right things? About doing the wrong things? Do we ask questions like: What do I need to do to get to heaven? OR Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?
I'm writing this message to make a point, and I promise I'm getting there. Are you ready for it? Are you ready, Christian, to know what point I'm wanting to make? Have you figured out my point yet? Ok... here goes... here it is... are you ready?
This is a concept that I usually sum up with two words: KINGDOM PURPOSE (or Kingdom Mindset).
How does this apply to our lives? How do we get there? Well, I’m a baseball player so I’ll start with a baseball analogy... When a baseball player goes up to the plate thinking “don’t strike out” or “make sure you hit the ball” or “hit a home run” or something to that effect, the plate appearance usually ends badly. Rather, when you get up to the plate thinking about how you can best facilitate your team gaining advantage things usually go better, and things tend to be simpler. The thoughts change to be more like “just punch the ball through on the right side” or “hit a ground ball to the right side” or “I should bunt because there are runners on 1st & 2nd with no outs, and that’ll move them around.” See, you start to think with a greater purpose than just your stat line. Instead of worrying about your batting average, or how many home-runs you do or don’t have, you start to think about what is best for your team gaining advantage. It’s all about how you perceive the situation and the game.
The game of life isn’t a lot different. In fact, I might even go as far as to say life is slightly more important that baseball (*sarcasm*), but we can certainly learn from our national pastime. In our lives we tend to focus so much on “me” or “us” and it suffocates what our perception should be. Rather than thinking about the steps we can take, or how to remedy a situation on/in our own power, we should begin with focusing on Jesus. Even more so, we should think with Kingdom purpose. How does this effect the team I’m on. Oh, and by the way, the “team” we’re on is Jesus’ team, and the goal isn’t to win the game per say (because He has already conquered sin & death) but to make His Name great and to work for His kingdom! Rather than asking the question “how do I fix my situation?” we MUST start with “how does/can/will God receive the most glory?”
Ultimately, it truly is a matter of perspective. I wish we would just get over ourselves, get off our high horse, and get real! God created us, we didn't create Him. God created the Earth and everything in/on it. Who are we to think that we matter MORE than He does? I'm not saying we completely ignore our situations or anything because, in fact, if we don't take care to watch what we do (and the way we live our lives) we don't bring God glory. We have been given one life, one body, one set of Earthly family, and the Bible clearly tells us to take care of those things. But how do we best "take care" of those things? What does God say about that? The answer is Himself! He is how our life finds fulfillment. HE is best for us. Jesus, God's plan of salvation, is best for us! God already knows hat we need and how we are most satisfied, and it's in close communion with Him, and by following Jesus' example and making much of Him! When we seek Jesus, when our life's decisions revolve around God's Kingdom first and foremost, He is most glorified and we are most satisfied.
So, what's our perspective? Does our thought pattern revolve around us (most likely), or does it revolve around making much of Jesus and His Kingdom?