Priority and Perspective

January 16, 2021

These are pictures on the Trespass Trail to Gaviota Peak, a favorite hike in the Santa Barbara area. In the morning the smaller mountain that looms over the Gaviota tunnel blocks out the sun from anyone hiking the trail. It appears ginormous.

And it is ginormous.

But as a hiker continues to climb, that particular mountain doesn’t loom so large. Here it is as one climbs to its equivalent height.

Here is one about 500 feet higher.

Here is one about 1500 feet higher.  It is in the lower left corner, hardly noticeable at all.

As a metaphor for the different perspective faith can provide, this one works pretty well.  Things that appear huge—enough so to block our ability to see the “Son”—get smaller as we gain a “higher” perspective.

But the climb doesn’t begin on the mountain top.  It begins in the valley with a clear resolve to go up.

Christian discipleship is largely a matter of priority and perspective.  Luke 14:25-27 reads, “25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Does Jesus really want us to “hate” our family?  Of course not.  He is talking about priorities, with prioritizing God as the first order of business

The life of discipleship beings with a re-ordering of our lives.  Followers of Jesus put Jesus first and keep Him first.  The first of the ten commandments reads, ““You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)  The second also reiterates this idea.  In the New Testament, Jesus teaches his followers to “seek first the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33)

By putting away rivals to our devotion we draw closer to God and He draws closer to us (James 4:8).  Then we find ourselves participating more and more with His thoughts, virtues, and perspective.  That big mountain in front of us obscuring the “Son” can be just about anything.  Mine is often a concern for our kids—their health, safety, success, relationships, etc.  But when I draw close to God and He draws near to me, I hear Him say, “fear not.  I’ve got this.”  That mountain in front of me is no longer so intimidating.

So prioritize God.  Let your devotion be the top priority of your life.  As you do this, you will gain His perspective.  Then you will be reminded once again…God’s got this.