“Like tourists huffing and puffing to reach the peak we forget the view on the way up.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
I have been chatting with a few people about my hotel stay in Indianapolis for the conference I am attending this week. I am at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis. It is a nice hotel on Capitol Avenue. It is across the street from the Westin, a hotel that I have stayed in several times in the past when down here for conferences.
One would think that being in a hotel across the street from the previous one that everything would look the same. Not so, not so. From my bedroom, I can see the Westin as well as a part of the conference center. When I stayed at the Westin, I could look out my window and see the state capitol building. Such a small difference in yardage; yet, a huge difference in perspective.
Well, I tipped my hand on today’s reflection, didn’t I? With that last sentence, you know where I am going. It doesn’t take much for a view on something to change, sometimes radically. Two people could be so close to the same object yet, from where they are standing, see entirely different things.
Often, in our faith lives, we become frustrated with others when they do not “see” the faith the way that we do. Yet, our experiences in our faith lead to certain expressions of our faith. Others, who have had different experiences, express their faith differently. We may agree on one God, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism; but, we might be miles apart in other ways.
Patience. Kindness. Love. Understanding. These are not only hallmarks of a Christian, they are also most needed in our lives. Instead of insisting that people see things from our perspective, it might help us to try to understand their perspective. Knowing their experience and listening to their expression of it, we might come to understand their view and find that we are closer together than we may have first thought.
FAITH ACTION: When interacting with others today, do all that you can to understand their point of view.