Why We Need to Maintain Perspective

I was sitting in a class with J. Robert “Bobby” Clinton years ago, dealing with life-long leadership realities.  His seminal statement was this:  “The difference between leaders and followers is perspective.  And the difference between great leaders and leaders in general is greater perspective.”  Right now, wherever you’re at, you need to have perspective.

Recently I was teaching a group of business leaders, and the subject of perspective came up.  I handed them each a copy of Psalm 90, and I read through it.  You may know that this is a Psalm where Moses was complaining about the journey across the wilderness.  Who wouldn’t complain about that?  I get the feeling that he was writing this prayer of angst at year 39, day 364.  If you read it you’ll see how hard it is for Moses to reconcile the time-and-space locked world he lives in with the eternality of God.  He doesn’t like that.  And he even makes heart-wrenching analogy in verse 4:  “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”

Run the numbers on that.

We know it’s anthropomorphic hyperbole, but what if it were literally true that a thousand of our years were like a day to God?  Or that a thousand of our years was like a four-hour watchman shift to God?  If that were to be taken literally, the forty years that Moses was trudging through the wilderness were like 56 minutes to God!  Or, for the “watch in the night”, it would mean that the forty years to Moses was like nine minutes on God’s watch.

Read that Psalm and regain your perspective.  Climb a little higher, and trust God to be God.  Moses seems to do that toward the end of the Psalm.  He writes, “May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands” (verse 17).  He had it out with the Lord, and he let Him know of his angst.  But he did regain his perspective by trusting God for the days (days?  Sounds like a time-and-space locked existence!) to come.  Ultimately, he trusted in the goodness of God.  Church planters:  let’s remind one another of these things.