God’s Doppler Shift

Ever been standing still when an ambulance or fire truck passes you with its siren wailing? You notice right away that the sound of the siren as it approaches is different that the sound it makes when it gets further away. Same siren…different sound. It’s a matter of perspective. As the siren approaches, the sounds waves scrunch together creating one tone and as the siren goes away the waves stretch out. New tone. Here is a picture to attempt clarification:

It is amazing the difference your perspective can make. Another instance would be if you were driving a good, safe 55 miles per hour in your car. When another car passes you going 70 mph, from your frame of reference the car that passes appears to be going 15 mph, but if you were standing on the side of the road hitchhiking the car would certainly seem to be going 70. It’s all about your perspective.

Fairly simple observations like that take a great deal of physics equations to describe. Sometimes it is like that with simple stuff, it’s just a little more complicated that it appears on the surface.

Yesterday I took a walk and something like that clicked in place for me. Perspective. Specifically, what perspective am I drawing my view of self from. Lately I have been stuck feeling like a used McDonald’s styrofoam container (I know they don’t use them anymore, but work with me here). Used up and discarded. Feeling worthless and full of regret.

One of the things that has been tough to navigate on my journey to restoration has been people’s response to me. For the record, I know that what I did was selfish and stupid. A betrayal of the trust of my spouse, friends and church members. You will not find me shirking that reality. With that said, I know that trust and friendship is earned and that takes a lot of time.

What I was not expecting was the distance. The running away. Like I have spiritual leprosy that others could catch. “I’ll call you”…and then nothing. Doing lunch…then met with excuses about getting together in the future. I’ve grieved over this rejection which has been feeding my sense of worthlessness and unworthiness.

Something clicked yesterday, though. What I was feeding myself was generated by other people’s perspective. Not God’s. Thinking from God’s vantage point, I am fully loved. Jesus still died for me, that did not expire. Sure God is disappointed, but I’m forgiven. He is not discarding me, He is using this for my good, my strengthening, and the good of His kingdom. It is His perspective that I have to live out of.

That’s been my Doppler Shift. Accepting myself as God sees me…not so I can stay the same, but so that He can change me and lead me through His plan for me. That’s the irony. In the old way of thinking I was going to get stuck. Stuck in regret. Stuck in hopelessness. In this new perspective I am open to God’s change, and more accepting of the process – painful as it is.

I think that is what Peter had in mind when he wrote “set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” My hope and my perspective must be fully focused on the grace of God. Thank you God for that.

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