When I was an 18 year old college student, I read the book, “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. I became aware that there was tremendous power in being more positive and focused in my thinking. I began to see new possibilities and opportunities in challenging situations. I noticed new options that were right under my nose the whole time.
I took the above picture in Kathmandu, Nepal. I was intrigued by the faded multi-colored lattice covering a window that was set in an intricately carved wooden frame. When I got home and had all my images on my 24” monitor for editing, I was preparing to hit the delete button on this one. But, I noticed something. A chill came over me and I named the picture, “The Hidden Stare.”
I suddenly saw a Nepalese man with a yellow turban staring intently into my telephoto lens. I had missed seeing this man through my viewfinder when I snapped the picture and continued walking. (Maybe you missed him too when you first looked at this picture on a small screen). In retrospect, I’m guessing he may have even felt violated by this American tourist pointing a camera through his second-story window.
My main point is this—sometimes we simply miss the possibilities that are right in front of our eyes. We neglect the imaginable due to our small or cloudy view-finders. Here are a few reasons:
We live at a fast pace and we just don’t slow down enough to get a clear view.
We look through a “worst-case scenario” view-finder and we miss the good possibilities.
We allow the unpleasant experiences of our past to distort our view of the future.
We think the world revolves around us and if we can’t do it no one can.
We fail to realize that our power and resources are limited when compared to God’s.
In reflecting on the life of Tony Hostetler, my long-time spiritual mentor, friend and ministry partner, I realize what an exceptionally positive man of faith he was. Tony genuinely believed all things were possible. But it was deeper than just a positive attitude or possibility mind-games. Tony humbly trusted the Creator of the Universe with his life. He constantly looked beyond the temporary obstacles and saw the power and strength of the God of all eternity. He internalized the prayer of Apostle Paul that says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
I want to leave a legacy which others will never forget — that I saw the great possibilities in every situation. I don’t want to be remembered as someone who stared at all the obstacles and said, “I can’t.” “It won’t work” “I’m not willing to risk.” “Not possible.” “Not willing to try.” Likewise, I don’t want to run so fast that I miss seeing the soul of a person behind the faded lattice work.
I’m planning to continue believing that all things are possible with God! How about you?
QUESTION: What is one step you could take today to make sure you see the possibilities God has for you in your situation? Feel free share it in the comment section below.
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