Wednesdays with Jillene: perspective

Summer staff moved into Camp Vick on Sunday and as part of our training we traveled to Pathfinder Lodge (our sister Camp) for a time of Joint Staff Training. We were blessed to be able to go to a gym (read: pretty awesome sports center) in the area and do some high ropes course work today as a part of our team building and experiential learning.

If you know about me, you know I often suffer from vertigo. And because I was one of the drivers (for our 5 hour trip back tonight) I didn’t participate on the high ropes course. I suspected it would be likely to set off a dizziness episode and I didn’t want that! So I spent a lot of the day watching our staff, encouraging the team and photographing the events 😉

BUT near the end of our time there the group ended the “high ropes” time with a ride down the zip line. All day I had been itching to participate in the adventure.  I wondered if I should just try the ropes course to see if I would be okay… but reality would kick in and I knew I couldn’t risk it.

Yet, I really wanted to go on the zip line.

So I convinced myself to try it, that it would all be okay.

There were some in the group nervous for me, I was nervous, but I was DETERMINED. As I climbed the tower my excitement grew. At the top Josh informed me that I should be aware of the fact that the whole tower shook when people “jumped” onto the zip line. It seemed that this would be a good test on whether or not this was a good idea…

I didn’t get dizzy.

Why not?

Because I had mountains in the distance I could focus upon. With my vertigo, if I can focus on something stable, something on the horizon then I can help keep my “balance.” If I had watched the trees as I sped by them I wouldn’t have been able to track them and the blur would have resulted in a dizzy, nauseated, sick Jill.

As I careened down the zip line I kept my eyes focused on those distant mountains and the ride was great!

Tonight God is using this experience to show me how true this is in my spiritual life. When we are on the ride of life and get too focused on the details that are “close” to us… the circumstances in the here and now… then the difficult parts of the ride can be overwhelming.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I know that often when I look at the circumstances in my life… I can’t “see” the truth of this verse at work.

But that is because of perspective.

I wasn’t dizzy on the zip line because I focused my eyes on the stable objects in the distance. And because of their size and distance from me, they allowed me the proper perspective I needed to keep my balance center in check.

And in my spiritual life I need to be focused on the big truths of who God is, who I am to Him and what that means for my life… because otherwise I lose perspective.

How about for you? What areas of your life are overwhelming to you? What truths do you need to focus upon to keep proper perspective so you can “enjoy the ride?”

~Jillene

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