My backyard neighbours have temporarily removed a portion of the privacy fence between our properties in order to put up a new garage. The gap in the fence enables me to see directly into their yard from my kitchen window. Not that I’m a snoop or anything. Just sayin.’
As long as the fence stood uninterrupted, all I could see over the top was a clothesline, a few bird feeders, and the squirrels who use them. I had no idea the yard was actually a gorgeous, park-like work of art! We are clearly getting the better end of this deal.
Now, while I’m washing dishes, instead of feasting my eyes on my own pathetic attempt at a garden and a boring white fence, I can pretend the other man’s greener grass is an extension of our own. By focusing just a little further away, my whole perspective changes. Since the gap, I’ve also spoken more to the neighbours and met a sweet, 17-year old cat I never knew lived there.
I think I’ll miss the gap when the work is completed. Maybe privacy is overrated.
What lovely views do we miss because we allow fences to block our vision? Fences come in many forms. Anxiety, illness, grudges, loss, and strained relationships can create a fence between what we’re looking at and what we could be looking at. We’re so focused on the problem, it becomes a barrier to our vision. For example, if you are stressed out over money troubles and you learned you were going to inherit a million dollars next month, your focus would change, even though your bills remained unpaid in the moment. Am I right?
For me, struggling with daily physical pain shortens my sight incredibly. Sometimes all I can see is the here and now. This highly unattractive fence makes me think negative thoughts. This hurts. I don’t like it. I don’t want to live like this. It’s hopeless. I can’t cope.
But when I choose to focus on something better, even if it’s farther away and all I have to peer through is a tiny knot hole, the fence blurs and begins to diminish. I realize a greater truth exists on the other side of the fence. A future worthy of joyful anticipation awaits. I possess reasons to remain thankful and glad.
You can find one of these knot hole promises in the first chapter of Peter’s first epistle:
“Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
By focusing just a little further away, your whole perspective changes.