Hindsight Part 4: Bragging or Complaining?

hindsight1If you’ve ever visited a Disciplehood page before, you’ve probably come across a Hindsight hyperlink. (They look exactly like the word two words to the left of this sentence.)

That’s because back in the earliest months of the Disciplehood blog, I posted a four-part series on the heavenly phenomenon known as Hindsight, and I refer to it often. Here’s an excerpt from the introductory entry:

1950s radio personality and witticist Oscar Levant once remarked that happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember. I’m not sure that’s entirely true about happiness, but it often applies to holiness.

It’s often only with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight that I see the Father’s hand at work in my life. I look back on events – from the profound to the profoundly mundane – and see that seemingly random occurrences were anything but. I look back on tough periods in my life and realize how impossible it would have been for me to get through them alone.

Hindsight is a great gift indeed.

All of that is true, and I’m still quite proud of both the introduction and all three parts of the Hindsight series. I invite you to read them – in all their navel-gazing glory – when you have the time.

But this week, I think God might have invited me to look at my precious hindsight with new goggles: When I talk about Hindsight, I’m bragging. But should I be complaining?

Is the hindsight that I often enjoy the full measure of what God wants to give me when it comes to experiencing His holiness? Or am I shortchanging myself by settling for what comes easily?

Stephen Hambidge

Stephen Hambidge

This little epiphany began on Sunday, when my friend and pastor, Stephen Hambidge, gave a crackerjack sermon about the Transfiguration, called Seeing in the Present Tense. (Click on the link and give it a listen; you won’t be sorry.)

transfigurationIn his sermon, Stephen speculated that on the Mountain of Transfiguration, it isn’t that Jesus was changed to reveal His holiness, but that Peter, James and John were changed – their crows-colored glasses were somehow removed – so they could see the holiness that had been present with them all along!

And for those moments, the disciples were seeing in the present tense.

So maybe I don’t have to wait for Hindsight in order to see God at work in my life. Maybe that kind of connection and awareness is available to you and to me, in the moment we’re currently in.

When you put it that way, it seems so obvious – in hindsight – that I can’t believe it never occurred to me before. (There I go again.)

I suspect the real-time ‘Kindsight‘ can be a great deal more empowering, inspiring and anointing than Hindsight is. The difference between seeing a preview for a great movie on your TV at home, and seeing the entire movie in IMAX 3D probably doesn’t even come close.

That is a tantalizing invitation, but I’m not really sure how to go about accepting it. I suspect it’s more involved than simply saying ‘I want that’.

Stephen’s sermon title, and its content for that matter, provide some insight: seeing in the present tense must, ipso-facto, require being in the present tense, which is tough for me.

It's amazing what you can find with a Google Images search. I searched for 'crow with sunglasses' and voila!

It’s amazing what you can find with a Google Images search. I searched for ‘crow with sunglasses’ and voila!

All too often my mind drifts to the glory (and gory) days of my past – or looking ahead with worry (or hurry) about the future, and therefore I end up forgetting to fully participate in what’s happening right now. I suspect I’m not the only one.

But there are scattered moments in my life where I suddenly (and accidentally, if I’m honest), leave the past and future aside. And in these few-and-far-between times, I catch glimpses of ordinary, earthly events with my own crows-colored glasses removed.

So if I can do it occasionally without meaning to, maybe it’s possible to make that happen intentionally and regularly (or better yet: constantly).

Sheesh. Living that intentionally would require a lot of discipline. Too bad the Christian calendar hasn’t established a 40-day season that invites us to adopt new spiritual disciplines, that starts tomorrow.

Peace be with you.

†  †  †


About robpetkau

Communications professional by day, amateur musician by night, worship leader (at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Calgary) on weekends and aspiring Bible teacher in my dreams. Grateful husband to the woman who completes me. Doing-the-best-I-can dad to the son and daughter who keep me on my toes. Striving disciple of the GodMan who came, taught and died for me. Thanks for stopping by!
This entry was posted in Christian Walk, Faith, God, Holiness, Insight, Lent and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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