Where You Sit

I know someone that has a saying “a function of where you stand is where you sit.” I think this is a great way to describe how one sees the world from their own perspective. In Vikki’s sermon on Sunday she spoke about the need to be “right”, and how the need to be right can get in the way of relationship. We don’t often wonder how two people could both be right when they are presenting opposing opinions, but rather we see one as “right” and the other as “wrong”.

I flew to Los Angeles the last week in January. It was a very cold, cloudy, gloomy day. Outside the colors were white and grey and it was flurrying. The jetway door was open in the waiting area so passengers could board the plane. It was cold even inside the airport and quite frigid waiting on the jetway to get on the plane. I just felt like curling up and going inward to avoid the cold and rather depressing weather. When the plane took off we rather quickly broke through the clouds and it was absolutely beautiful. The sun was shining, the sky was robin-egg blue with beautiful puffy clouds below. Through the breaks in the clouds you could see the Rocky Mountains below with their snow covered peaks. Then the sun started to set and the clouds lit up in pinks and oranges. It was absolutely beautiful. I found myself marveling how moments earlier I just wanted to be able to crawl into bed and throw the covers over my head and now, just above the clouds, was one of the most magnificent evenings I have ever seen.

I marveled at the contrast and thought how like life this can be. Things can appear to be grey, dark and cold, but right behind those grey clouds is a clear blue sky. I think it’s like that with opinions and perceptions. What may be cold and grey to one person may be sunny blue skies to another. If two of us were talking as we waited in the airport and I had said it was cold and gray and they said no it is sunny and beautiful we both would’ve been “right”. A function of where you stand is where you sit.

In our world today there are a lot of strong opinions being tossed around. I think we all could use a little more understanding, faith and respect for differing points of view. Everyone is a product of their own experiences and perceptions and that is often what leads to where they “stand”. It is not necessary to agree, if you don’t, but it would be important to be open and listen and, as Vikki said, put relationship above our need to be “right”. God boiled his commandments down to love God above all else and love one another. For me that can be especially hard to do when I don’t agree with another position.

I was talking to a neighbor about being on the HOA board. He said he had already served and didn’t want to do it again because “some people are really fantastic and others are just (pause) not so fantastic.” After a laugh I replied “Yeah, you know what would make everyone fantastic? Is if they would only see things my way.” I think we may have stumbled upon the antidote for world peace!

Since it is ludicrous to believe everyone will always/ever agree on all things, or see things “our way”, perhaps we can just remember that everyone has a stand based on where they sit and love them anyway.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’…Matthew 22:37-39

Kelley Evans

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