Thursday, July 22, 2010

on perspective

When we were building our church in Calgary, Alberta there was great debate about what roofing material should be used. Truth told, it was more about money than vision, but the question was whether we buy the cheaper 50-year tile roofing or invest in a metal roof that has a longer roof-life. (Made that up. Roof - life. Like shelf - life, only on a roof. Pretty dynamic for first thing in the morning, huh?!)

Okay - my friend who is an ancient Franciscan Friar poked fun at our group when I told him of the dilemma. He pointed out that the Roman Catholics put tile roofing on their churches because they expect their church to be there in hundreds of years. Us protestants feel much more temporary, and build for this generation, expecting our church to become a pizza parlor in 50 years. Or the pastor has little vision of the church beyond his own life, while a priest knows the church is not dependent on him nor owned by him. So says my dear friar.

Today I heard an Indian man from New Delhi commenting on Iran and the issues of political relationships. The issue in question is the pressure India is getting to participate in sanctions against Iran in response to Iran's nuclear policies. The man said, "We are neighbors. We have to live with Iran now and a thousand years from now."His words took my breath away. I so often take a short cut view of the world. Short cut solutions. Expedient actions. What we can do today. Tomorrow be damned. That sort of thing. The sort of thinking that causes the Gulf oil disaster. The kind of thinking that makes me willing to fight with my neighbor, or the man in my church. They won't be here forever. It doesn't matter. What if I saw the world and life in a perspective that went far out from my life. Into my great grandchildren's life. Into a church generations past my own.

I have something to learn about this. Today I am going to look at everything I see and choose from this lens and challenge myself to a long view.

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