So, today a tiny human ran up to me yelling “MOM!”
The situation was confusing for everyone involved because I am no one’s mom.
Except M&M’s. But they can’t talk.
Anyway, the situation sorted itself out. It turns out this particular tiny human’s mother and I were in matching outfits – I mean that in the literalist sense. (Talk about awkward, to be twinsies with a grown woman!)
It was easy to see why the kid was confused. Of course the lady wearing his mom’s outfit was his mom.
Except I wasn’t.
Vantage points are funny like that. We cling to what looks accurate and assume the rest follows suit.
I have a vivid memory of being knee high to a grasshopper and clutching my mom’s leg for dear life, except it wasn’t my mom. It was someone in the same pants as my mom.
Whatever looks right from where you’re standing. Grab at it with all you’ve got and pray the part that you can’t see, or just didn’t look at, is what you think it is.
I’m walking through life with a few people who currently are suffering the consequences of clinging to something before they’d discovered what it was in it’s entirety.
I’ve suffered the consequences of the same mistake.
People, friendships, a community, a job, a spouse, a viewpoint…we pick a part that looks like what we want and rush headlong into it. Clutching for dear life, only to find out later, we judged the person by their pants, and we’re in over our head.
We throw all our eggs in that basket and ask questions later.
“There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12
I think the kicker is this: “The heart is deceitful above all else.” Jeremiah 17:9
Because my heart is typically what gets me into these sorts of messes. My heart is desperate for something, and so I think with my heart and not my head and I’ve locked and loaded my heart in a commitment before I’ve considered the whole of the arrangement.
Do we look before we reach? Do we take a considerable look at the things we’re committing too? Do we consider a vantage point that is different from our own? Do we follow our heart – or follow wisdom and discernment?
This whole concept has come up all over my life recently: sometimes we are too close to have a real perspective, a little distance would make all the difference. Sometimes we are too close to really be able to see what we’re holding.
This came up the other day with pride, and chasing worthless treasure. I was with a group of wise women and who were all saying that sometimes we chase things that won’t satisfy us (Isaiah55:1-2), and we pursue empty treasure (Matthew 6:19-24) because it looks like the real deal from where we’ve situated ourselves.
I think there is a tendency to let “faith” cover our tendency towards being unaware. Like we’re clinging to pants and calling it “faith”. And sometimes, it is. There are definitely times the Lord tells us to hold on and trust Him. But sometimes I think we use the word “faith” to mask ignorance.
Scripture is clear that faith is to be coupled with wisdom.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.” Philippians 1:9
“Teach me knowledge and good judgement, for I believe in your commands.” Psalm 119:66
I think this is God’s way of saying “Don’t assume the person by their pants.” Examine with love, knowledge and depth of insight before you grab on for dear life. Ask for the knowledge and judgement that comes from the Lord alone before.
Don’t get caught chasing something that wasn’t what you thought it was. Don’t pursue what doesn’t satisfy because it looked right at the time. Don’t judge the whole by your current vantage point.
Follow in faith, love, knowledge and depth of insight that comes from the Lord alone.