Monday, April 29, 2013


While I do read fiction, most of my reading is of the nonfiction variety. There are too many new things to learn. And I find myself spending more and more time reading God’s Word. The Bible is filled with golden nuggets meant to be mined with care and persistence. One day a verse may speak to me in a special way, and another time the same verse will touch my heart differently. At each reading, God offers a new perspective. That, my friend, is reason to keep reading, reason to rejoice.


A new perspective

As a kid, I climbed the old Frederic water tower, along with a few of my friends. While waiting for the high school football game to begin, we decided we wanted a new perspective on the world. Though I wouldn't admit it, I was scared stiff and my mind whirled. Would I get dizzy up there? Would we get caught by the police and have to 'fess up to our parents? Would we end up in jail?      

When I reached the third rung, I wanted to quit. But I wouldn't chicken out. If my friends could do it, so could I. Once I reached the tenth rung, I began to talk to myself. "One step at a time … you can do it … don't look down … you can do it … move those rubbery legs … you can do it." And I did!

I'd never been so high before. Once I reached the circular, secure walkway, I felt so giddy I wanted to run. But a quick look down squashed that desire. I did walk around the circle, however, enjoying the vast panorama of colored leaves and evergreens. Wisps of smoke from bonfires lingered in the clear, fall air. We could see all the way to Grantsburg, some twenty miles away.

The experience left a mark on my memory. I had accomplished something risky (albeit illegal), had conquered fear, and had been afforded an awesome view of the world around me.

Sometimes it takes a new experience to change our perspective. That's what happened to Zacchaeus, a tax collector in Jesus’ time who likely cheated the tax-paying citizens. Being a short guy, Zacchaeus climbed a tree in order to see Jesus among a large crowd. As a result, unexpected changes happened. He welcomed Jesus into his home, and said, "Look Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." (Luke 19:8)

Any encounter with Jesus will bring change. When Zacchaeus encountered Jesus, his perspective changed. His view of Jesus was broadened, just like mine from the top of the water tower. He realized his wrongdoing. May we too realize our sins as we view Jesus from a new perspective.

Lord, we want to know You better, no matter what it takes. Help us be like Zacchaeus, inviting You into our heart's home, admitting and turning from our sinful ways. Change us from the inside out, as we encounter You in Your Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with Your family. In Jesus' name, amen.

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