Time + Distance = Perspective
It’s a simple and beautiful formula.
It’s the thing that I want to talk about most when I am now reflecting on my time in the message. It’s been nearly 7 years – and I have fallen silent for nearly 2 years on Morning Mercy. I still think about writing and sharing all the time – but I keep pushing it away. Why? Because as time and distance bring perspective – so also does perspective bring peace.
Peace in my heart is something I don’t gladly want to disturb.
At the same time, I keep getting email. People are still hurting and making difficult decisions. And I have a new viewpoint to share that has been born from the experience away from the turmoil I first felt when leaving the message. I know I have more to say.
Think of standing in a building – perhaps a church – full of people. Some are confused, some are distraught and some are angry. Voices are heard – and passionate words are spoken. Emotions are felt. People are verbally pushing and pulling to try to impact where you are standing, and where you are going. And yet – you ARE going. So you start walking.
Even without knowing which direction to go – you walk forward. The noise is still around you as you walk out the door and outside the property. Some people are following you – and won’t leave you alone. Some are throwing stones because you are well within distance. Some are begging you to come back. But you keep walking.
It is within a span of time that you take enough footsteps to where the voices behind you become quiet. If you look back – you still see the building. You see the faces of the people who continue to watch you go, though others retreat back to their place. There are still ones following, though slowly, and you aren’t sure of their intention. So – you keep walking.
With more time and more footsteps, you have more distance still. Soon, the loudest voice you hear is inside you. If you turn and look back… the noise is too far away to hear. And things look different now – and so much smaller and yet, more full. So you can pause to breathe and reflect. You can talk within yourself. You can actually look around to consider what direction you should continue going. There’s still emotion – but it’s not as reactive. It goes deep, but you can sit with it… and enage with it.
The Experience of Distance
That’s what happens – the more time and distance you walk. Inevitably (and with invested work) it provides you space in which to develop a healthier perspective on all that took place. With the pressure and emotion set aside – your view will change. Your memories will change. Your emotions will change. Don’t worry – change is inevitable. You WILL change. The question is whether you will emerge in a healtheir place.
I think for myself, I really needed to experience that change. Only enough time and distance could provide that. I’d like to take some time over the coming months to just talk about the perspective I’ve gained. I think it might help to hear, for some people, how another former message believer looks back. In a sense, it reminds me of a relationship with a parent. I know as a teenager, my parents would almost chuckle at my calamity. I might feel like my world was complex, difficult and imploding – and yet my parents would calmly nod and explain their view. I didn’t know it – but they had the benefit of experience and perspective. That’s what time and distance provides. I guess I feel like much of my experience, and what the message was/is makes more sense now.
The disclaimer is that my perspective may not match yours. I may have went a different direction and I may be standing on a different, far off hill. No one has to agree with what I now think, and I think that’s one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned. Disagreement is okay – and it doesn’t need to result in fractured relationships. Imagine that.