31 May 2015

It's all about The View: I zoom out and try to get God's view!

Did you ever feel like you are backed into a corner and have only so many options?

I am feeling it right now. In my case, it's just one option. Nothing life-threatening thankfully; but here is what is happening.

I have lived in my flat now for eleven years. We renovated it when we first moved in. Then we had to repair the toilet - twice! (At one time, and it still happens some days, I live in a first-world flat with a toilet that annoys me with third-world sewer smells. It's a mystery says the plumber... and I remind myself what privileges I enjoy already).

Now we are about to embark on another project to create a personal space for the mighty teen. There is a natural space for it but because of The View, we have to carve out the dining area to create her room.

This is The View.

The Bishan Park - one of Singaporean's favourite local spot!

To keep this view; we will embark on an inconvenient and unconventional plan involving carving out a room on one side of the dining area. This will create a less than satisfactory balcony space, permanently remove my sunny spot for the laundry, involve relocating three bicyles, and, upset the cat... it's a lot to deal with.

But it was hard to battle The View.

We all agreed that we loved The View and the area should remain as is and not become someone's bedroom.

In a way we kinda worked ourselves into this spot. We chose to turn one of the rooms into our home office complete with so many shelves lining the walls; sleeping in it will feel way too bookish; and a bed cannot fit in anymore. So yes, this decision made it necessary to make the current one, because of course of The View!

The view is great. It's hard to beat in a city. It's been paid for and scrupulously maintained by the government. You can see life, families, animals all having a spot of life with exercise and movement and the occasional picnic and photo shoot. Why, even the Prime Minister has chosen this spot to make his speeches!

But one consideration can sometimes limit us.

Like the time I spoke with a retiree who said he wouldn't think of traveling overseas even though his skills are most helpful; because he gets motion sickness.

It is really funny how one thing can dictate another. I have stopped eating chicken lately because I suspect the feathered friends are not longer on chummy terms with me as I get hives from so much as drinking the stock!

What's more; sometimes. the one thing can run our lives!

There are those who can analyse a situation to death; but for most of us, I notice that we mostly live with a view round about the tip of our noses. We don't make all the connections or think hard and long enough about most things. I notice 3 things about most of us:

Our attention spans: brief.
Our analysis: limited to what we can associate with.
Our responses: hemmed in by emotions that cloud our seeing.

So perhaps we live a little too close to ourselves, and not enough in touch with others. Really.

Besides, every one else must fit into the frame of our view or be blurred and lost in peripheral vision. 

All the more so when you live in a competitive, fast-paced island with a narrative that we must keep swimming faster or we sink; our view can become pretty narrow. We can go so fast, things can get so blur; we don't notice, care or engage - really.

So here we are, each one of us, muddling and hustling along with the weight of our own universes on our backs.

It's a sadly funny sight at the train stations in the morning: teeming scores of people looking bored, tired, and wishing they were somewhere else. Our own weights get so much some resort to pretend to sleep to avoid giving up their seat to others; while others require a poster to remind them to 'bag down' so they don't hit others with their bags! Don't we notice that there are other people?

Just the tips of our noses and our own heavy bundle.

What happens when we can zoom the lens out and see a wider picture? 

I have noticed things I didn't before.
I see connections I didn't pick up earlier; that may explain some things.
I have realised that things take time to pan out; and my present panic isn't worth it!

What happens if we can pan out some more -- all the way to where God sees things?

I try to imagine.

A lot of what I fuss over probably won't matter.

and -

Patience ~

the situation may change.
your heart may grow stronger.
your spouse may get the chore done.
your child will grow up and be more responsible.

On Mother's day I had gone to speak at a church where we were at more than ten years ago. I can remember the parents who angst over their teens. The teens who didn't seem headed anywhere. Then I see them - some have gotten married. Some have really surprised us! The parents are in such a different place.

No matter how many flowers we have seen blossom; each flowering still needs its time to go through the stages. We have to be patient.

And I remember too that there are different ways to think about Time.
 The time we are most used to is chronological time (Greeks call it chronos). But there are other ways to see the passing of the moments, the events, the seasons. There is kairos, when time is ripe, special, a divine intervention, a heaven-touching-earth moment. Then there is teleos which speaks of time moving towards a final purpose and towards an end goal.

For the faithful, kairos and teleos shape and define chronos. Our daily hours and moments are meaningful and important because they can be interrupted by Grace and explode with potential. It is not a mere ticking of the hours. We live present, and with a sense of joyful expectancy because things are leading up to something.

This is The View - the really big picture!

When I look out my window onto the park; I imagine God looking at us. I see the the smallish people alone or in groups. I notice the water, and I often hear the noises, cries and barks. All of it forms the picture of the park at that point of time. I don't have the wisdom or insight into the specifics or can quite describe how they fit into that day's plans. But God - when he looks at us - He alone knows how the puny bits that are us fit together in the grand scheme of things.

So, when I get too caught up with the minutiae of my life and begin fussing over what I feel is missing; I remind myself to expand my horizons and think of other women, mothers, wives who live in the next block, the neighbouring nation, the further reaches of our earth. This I remind myself is God's view.

My prayers and requests are valid but they are not definitive for life.

When I feel like it is but a daily grind; I try to spot the kairos moments of Grace and pray to see that things are shaping up and working out. I plaster patience over my anxious heart and call it to be still once again.

It's all about The View.

How's yours?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the reminder, and the two new words for time (kairos and teleos) that I need to keep in mind! I get caught up in the small, day to day stuff sometimes, and I need to be reminded to look at the big picture instead.


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