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Monday, October 25, 2010

A Matter of Perspective

Jason had a day off last Thursday, so we decided to hike the Jones Gap Trail in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. The trail stretches 5.3 miles from Jones Gap State Park to Caesar's Head State Park. About a mile from Caesar's Head, there's a lovely little waterfall area called "The Winds." Our plan was to hike from Jones Gap to "The Winds" and back again for a total of approximately 9 miles.

Just a few days earlier, I had taken the dogs on a loop hike that included the Jones Gap Trail. On that hike, I started at the Caesar's Head side and hiked down to "The Winds" from that direction. When I say "down," I mean "down." You see, from the Caesar's head side, you actually start at the top of the mountain and work your way down. You reach "The Winds" by descending a series of switchbacks on the Jones Gap Trail. Because of the nature of the descent, you see the waterfall long before you reach it.

The funny thing is that the first few times we hiked this trail, I didn't realize that the waterfall we saw from the top of the mountain was the same one we sat by as we ate our lunch. Jason laugh at my naivete, but in my defense, it didn't look the same. "Both" waterfalls were grand and beautiful, but to me, they just looked different. How was I supposed to know if was the same place?

I was reminded of my initial confusion as we hiked in from the lower side last Thursday. As I sat staring at the water flowing down over the rocks, I contemplated how different things can look from a varied point of view. The song, "The Shepherd's Point of View," came to my mind.

How many times do I go through trials, seeing things from only my point of view? I see a fire, but God sees a diamond. I see a bruised lump of clay, but God sees a masterpiece. I see hurt and pain, but God sees a blessing. At times, it seems like we're not looking at the same circumstances, but the truth is we're simply looking at them from a different point of view. After all, it's just a matter of perspective.

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