There’s a story out there about how one time Albert Einstein, the well known Physicists, when he got onto a train going from Princeton, NJ to Boston. Soon after he got on the train, he began searching for his ticket. When the conductor arrived at Einstein’s seat the conductor said, “Mr. Einstein, I, and everyone else on this train know who you are and I am sure you have a ticket, rest assured that you have a seat on this train”. Einstein was relieved momentarily but then continued to frantically look for his ticket. When the conductor had finished checking everyone’s ticket, he noticed Einstein still trying to find the lost ticket. The conductor walked down the aisle and tapped Einstein on the shoulder and said, “Dear sir, I have total faith and confidence that you have a ticket. Please take your seat and be sure you can ride this train”. To which Einstein replied, “Thank you again, kind sir, but I need to locate that train ticket to find out where I am going!”
As many of you know, Einstein is one of my heros. Not because of his accomplishments or fame and definitely not his religious beliefs, but because of his “out of the box” thinking. He would look at things from different perspectives not allowing the perceptions of history and personal bias to matter when looking from the other perspectives. He included these perspectives in his overall conclusions but he isolated each perspective and then evaluated each perspective to draw up his conclusions. This sometimes made him lose touch with the reality that he was living in, hence the need to look at his train ticket to know where he was going.
I think this process of thinking plays well into the realm of God. So many of the arguments I hear are full of the single perspective of one’s self clouded with their perception of history and their personal biases. So many times we go to understand God from the perspectives of this world pushing our ideas of reality onto God saying “He must fit into this mold because this is how I see the world around me working!” But if we open our mind to go to another perspective, removing our notions of how the world works, from perceptions of history that may or may not be accurate, and look at God as the creator of all things. Look at God as if He truly were all powerful and that all things revolve around Him and not us. Now from that perspective, what are we able to see about God? What are we able to see about the world around us? What are we able to see about ourselves?
So as I read Scripture, I like to look at it from different perspectives. Sometimes from my personal perspective, sometimes from the perspective of the culture it was originally written in, sometimes from the perspective of a culture totally different than me, and sometimes from the perspective of a perfect God. Then I also like to do the same thing with the world around me. I again look at it from many different perspectives. Looking at the different perspectives – my conclusion is this: The perspective from a merciful and just God is the one that makes the most sense.
From what perspectives have you looked at life lately?