Welcome to the Internship!
A couple of days ago the weather was so perfect I almost couldn’t help but run into the sky from my front yard. The hot air balloons were up and slowly descending into the fields all around us. Their enormous size and slow motion movements make them seem otherworldly. The draw was all but irresistible and I ran into the sky to join the dance.
It was beautiful! The autumn leaves were in full showing and the countryside was jaw dropping in its beauty. As I whipped out my camera to get a picture of the balloons, the insignificance of the balloon against the backdrop of autumn colors was deflating! The acres of brilliant fall colors, from the perspective of the sky, dwarfed the brilliance of the bright balloon.
I was once again reminded that perspective changes everything.
I like to say that this life is an internship for eternity.
When I think of an internship, or the interns that I’ve worked with, I think of the situation as being temporary.
I worked at a computer software company, and I was always intrigued by the new interns who would come in looking bright and bushy-tailed and ready for a season of learning. They were happy to be there and pleased to be experiencing a new environment and a unique learning opportunity. When I would ask them about their time at the company, typically, their attitudes were upbeat and willing. They might say something like, “It’s not what I’d like to be doing forever, but this is just temporary.” Knowing that their time in a certain position was temporary allowed them to take the negatives along with the positives and chalk it all up to a good learning experience. The significance of an issue or irritation was minimized by the acknowledgement that they were on the path toward greater things.
What if we lived our lives like that? What if the towering obstacles could be seen from a different perspective?
What if our perspective changed everything?
A friend of mine asked me to get a few pictures of their farm from the air and I happily obliged. If you’re like me, you’ll take any excuse to fly (who really needs an excuse?). It was a glorious flight but things look different from the air. Landmarks that point the way on the ground can’t even be seen from the sky. I had a little trouble finding one speck in the landscape. By the time I found the farm, took the pictures, and headed home I was faced with the daunting prospect of a setting sun.
In the blinking light of my strobe, I made a beeline straight back to my farm. As I was heading home, I kept looking ahead, straining my eyes, to see the three prominent silos that mark out the location of our farm on the horizon. Usually, when I’m on the ground, I reference those silos regularly. As a kid, those three silos had always been my standard for greatness. They were so tall! I remember the first time I climbed one of them. I felt so scared because I thought I was so high in the air! But from the perspective of flight, with the waning light from the setting sun, I couldn’t even pick them out in the landscape. A change in perspective changes everything!
Could it be that the prominent or daunting things in our lives that seem to be overwhelming may, by a change in perspective, become small and temporary?
The Bible talks about this in several places. When compared with eternity, our troubles and daunting days are considered “light and momentary.” The key is where we put our trust or where we choose to focus our eyes.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross…” Cor 4:18 and Hebrews 12:2
As I was nearing home and entering the airspace over my farm, it was with great joy that I did a few loops as I descended into my front yard landing. It was such a beautiful fall day and I couldn’t wait to share the pictures I had taken!
Meet your farmer – Jonathan Gerdes. He and his wife run a farm-to-table raw milk dairy in Caledonia, Minn. If he isn’t in the barn, you can find him dating his wife, playing with his kids, leading youth group, or flying in the sky. Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com for more info.