Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)
TITLE: Keeping Up With My God Outlook
By Kathy Warnes
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As a child my perspectives focused on my parents, siblings, friends, and twilight games of hide and seek in the vacant lot next to the house where ďThe BoyĒ lived. My outlook then consisted of escaping from babysitting my brothers and sisters, riding my bicycle endlessly and playing endless games of tag and hide and seek in the vacant lot with the neighborhood gang.
I went to church and learned stories from the Bible. My Sunday school teacher told me that God loved me and everyone else, and that He made the world and everything in it. In my own life, my grandmother reflected Godís love.
My God Outlook consisted of ďNow I Lay Me Down To Sleep,Ē and loving the flowers in my Grandmotherís garden and the look on her face when she kissed me.
My teenage perspective changed almost hourly and involved makeup and boys and a great deal of wondering about God that I carefully hid from everyone, even my fellow churchgoers.
I still went to church, but the inner me didnít always sit politely in the pew like the outer me did. The inner me rebelled against what I considered the limited, childish outlook people had about God. My God Outlook stretched over the horizon to places I hadnít yet imagined or contemplated exploring
Then my beloved grandmother died suddenly and the people around me who said they knew about God didnít give me the assurance that my grandmother lived well and happily in heaven. I volunteered to take her place in their hell and I changed my outlook about God .
God and I separated for a time. Our outlooks were too different for us to live in the same house, but I still considered him a distant friend.
For part of my adulthood, God remained my distant friend. Some days I viewed him from the perspective of standing in a dense valley forest with little sunlight filtering through. I knew that a mountaintop and Godís presence hovered nearby, but I couldnít see it and some days I forgot to image it.
One of Godís most effective outlooks is from the perspective of a human defiantly standing on a sand castle while greedy waves devour it. Even after the sand castle is gone, God shields the human from the waves and gives the human time to consider a change in outlook. If and when the human decides that a change in outlook is necessary, God becomes a closer friend.
God rebuilds outlooks. One day while trying to create some order out of clutter, I found my grandmotherís picture that I had buried in a trunk, trying to forget what she and God and meant to me. I wiped the dust from her face and I felt God wiping the tears from my face.
Slowly God helped me rebuild my sand castle, grain of sand by grain of sand, all the time shielding me from the waves.
My adult outlooks still tend to split into kaleidoscope pieces that sometimes I canít meld together no matter how hard I try. Some days I donít even try.
My dreams and realities donít always meet and match my outlook and I donít always keep my God Outlook up to date. Some days I neglect my God Outlook completely, but God remains my best friend and meets me in the middle of my outlook so we can work on it together.
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