Perspective. It’s always been intriguing to me how perspective is such an influence on life. From the simple illustration of being at the top of a mountain and having a view of everything below, to being in the depths of a cave where all that can be seen is what’s right in front of you. Perspective has the ability to either open you up or close you off to the world. Perspective has the ability to make you search or focus.
From the top of a mountain it’s difficult to not let your eye wander the expanse below you. You are free and untethered. It’s easy to feel like you can conquer the world. You look at the horizon line. You look at the contours of the Earth. You look at just how much of everything there is and how much you miss while you’re on “regular” ground. It is difficult to focus. It’s a spectacular and grounding experience.
In the cave, however, you have no choice but to focus on what’s in front of you. You are below the surface. There is no light aside from what you bring with you – a lantern, candle, flashlight. It’s difficult to see and your eyes don’t have much distance to wander. You look at the rocks directly in front of you. You look at the path’s ups and downs. You look at very few things, yet there comes a point that you begin to notice the tiny details that make up the little in front of you. It is easy to focus. It, too, is a spectacular and grounding experience.
Because so much more of life is lived on standard ground, I’ve always jumped at the chance to go above or below it. Airplane rides have always been a great reminder to me of how there are so many things in the world going on at the same time that there must be a higher power that orchestrates it all. My problems are not that big. My hangups are not so large that they affect everyone. My view is altered. My perspective changes.
Hiking in caves is also a great reminder of just how detailed the world is. Each little piece of rock is a part of the greater whole. Not one bit was created without understanding or meaning. The details are right in front of you – there is no escaping or running away from them. I am faced with my problems. I am forced to overcome my hangups and imperfections. My view is altered. My perspective changes.
I will gladly take both extremes because they afford me the opportunity to grow and evolve as a person. I am reminded at the mountain that I am just a speck in this world. God’s plan and role is much larger than mine. Who am I to worry about the little things in life when He’s orchestrating it all? And in the cave I’m reminded that it’s small things that make up the larger picture. It’s in the details where we see, learn and become a better version of ourselves. It’s where I’m faced with my faults and am given the opportunity to change.
We seem so small from the top of the mountain and so large in the cave. Perspective – it’s a choice of how we’ll accept it and what we’ll do with it. As for me, bring on the heights and depths.