An Encouraging Word 3-1-12

Lent: Changing the way we see

Father J. Ronald Knott

Jesus took Peter, James and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. Mark 9:2

When Jesus began his ministry, the first thing he called for was a radical change in the way we look at things.

On the second Sunday of Lent, Jesus invites us to go to the mountaintop, a traditional place for achieving a new perspective on the world. Jesus invites us to go the mountaintop because conversion of life, the real purpose of Lent, is impossible without a change of perspective, without a new way of looking at things.

It is easy to “get stuck” in the way we think. As Brooks Atkinson put it, “The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view.” Some of us go through life living out the old joke, “Don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up!”

Even scientists have trouble incorporating new information. The French Academy announced at one point that it would not accept any further reports of meteorites, since it was clearly impossible for rocks to fall out of the sky. Shortly thereafter a rain of meteorites came close to breaking the windows of the Academy.

Lent is a time to take a long, loving look at reality.

Dr. Wayne Dyer teaches us that, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This is certainly true in resolving soul-eating anger and resentment toward other people.
What many people fail to realize is that there is a “way out” when offending people refuse to apologize and own the hurt they have caused. What they fail to realize is that the hurt can be healed and the problem resolved with a new way of looking at the perpetrator. Lent is a time to change the way we look at others.

John Lubbock reminds us that “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” Oscar Wilde put it humorously when he said, “The optimist sees the donut; the pessimist sees the hole.”

The more attention you shine on a particular subject, the more evidence of it will grow. Shine attention on obstacles or possibilities, and they will multiply lavishly. Lent is a time to change the way we look at the world.

Possibly the most important change we need to make in our perspective this Lent is the way we view ourselves.

No one has said it better than Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Lent is a time to get a new perspective. Lent is a time to see the world through God’s eyes.

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