It’s amazing to me how a dozen people can look at the same picture, place, opportunity, or problem, and each person can see something different.
With my teammates, it’s no secret that I’m not a detail-oriented person – my most infamous case of this was when I was out checking the playground for ice in December. I was waiting for my boss to come out to give me some pointers to make sure I would be able to successfully complete the task in the future. While waiting for him I did everything I could think of to check the equipment – I walked around the entire playground three times and everything looked good and clear to me.
Then my boss came out and instantly went over to the stairs leading up to the playground tower/slides and began clearing the snow off them. I stood there feeling very confused and informed him that I had just walked around the stairs three times and literally never saw them. (Not the ice. The stairs. I somehow never saw the stairs.)
I’m still not sure how that happened. I had checked the slides to make sure they weren’t too wet. I’d run through the little bits of snow and slush on the ground to see if it was slippery. I’d picked up a handful of trash. And yet, somehow, I’d completely and entirely missed the staircase, which logically should have been one of the first things I’d seen.
With repeated stories like this over the years, it’s easy for me to come to the conclusion that I’m not an observant person. And yet, that’s not the case. I observe things that I later discover no one else saw or heard. But, at the same time, I often miss the thing that everyone else saw.
The concept of people seeing different things from each other is very intriguing to me. It reminds me to try and put myself in other people’s shoes so I don’t unintentionally hurt them. It reminds me to seek counsel from others before making big decisions. It helps me decide to speak up at times when I might have a helpful perspective to share. And, it makes me want to see the world through their eyes, too. After all, if I never learn to expand my perspective, then I’m going to miss out on a lot of what there is in life.
While hiking this week, I was incredibly intrigued by one of the friends I was hiking with. She has a degree in biology and a passion for moss. Throughout the day I snapped a lot of pictures from the top of cliffs, the bottom of ravines, and the big-picture beauty surrounding us. Meanwhile, my friend would be down on her knees, leaned close to the earth, capturing things so small that I probably would have never noticed the objects of her interest without her there to point them out.
I’ve never been so thoroughly educated about moss, lichens, and spiders before. It was not only intriguing, but it also made me realize (once again) that there’s a whole, huge, gigantic world out there full of information I haven’t even begun to tap into.
And, it reminded me of how different we, as humans, are. The Bible talks about how we – as God’s children – are the Body of Christ, and we each have a different function. It’s so easy for us to either get caught up with how important or unimportant our place in the body feels. Yet, in reality, God didn’t create anyone with a worthless set of skills. He also didn’t over-populate the world with a certain set of skills, rending your skill ineffective.
Each and every one of us has been gifted a life that God has a plan and purpose for. You and I fit equally into God’s plan, no matter the level of your IQ, skill set, or personality. Now, that isn’t to say that everyone uses thier skills, talents, and gifts in the way that God intended us to, but it means we can. That there is no excuse. And that, my friends, is pretty exciting.
So, next time I think that I – or someone I come in contact with – doesn’t have a lot to add to the Body of Christ, I’m going to change my perspective from an earthly one to a heavenly one. Because, obviously, I miss things.