Why The Best View Is The Long View

What’s the big idea?

Maybe it’s all those years creating curriculum, writing exams, and crafting lesson plans. I seem to look for the big idea, the underlying principle, the notion that ties things together. As long as I’m not doing brain surgery, I figure I can Google the details if I understand the basic ideas.

FREEDOM TOUR ’16 offered us great stories, funny stories, and deeply personal stories. I hope some of them continue to touch your heart. That’s the power of stories…they connect us in some unique, powerful way.

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For me, those stories offer an overwhelming reminder.

Take the long view.

grid1Look at the big picture. Think long-term. Whatever words you use, the idea’s the same. I do better, serve better, make better choices when I take the long view.

Perhaps you’ve seen a similar graphic, maybe with slightly different terminology. Too frequently we’re seduced by SHORT TERM or NOT IMPORTANT. The long view allows us to step back and see that what truly matters is usually in the LONG TERM/IMPORTANT box.

SHORT TERM allows me to justify. I violate closely-held principles, take short cuts, and make spur-of-the-moment choices, all rationalized in the name of short-term expediency. SHORT TERM impatiently ignores the damage left in its wake because its only concern is getting something done right now.

LONG TERM lets me take a breath. It’s about carefully choosing a response rather than a quick gut, knee-jerk reaction. LONG TERM will more likely reflect my true principles and values.

The hard thing about taking the long view is that we mostly live in a world with limited horizons. Much of what we see is short-term.

But we live by faith rather than sight, and faith takes the long view. And when we hang in there faithfully we’re occasionally lifted by a tide that allows us a glimpse over the hill and into the promised land.

Dr. King said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” As much as we wish to shorten that arc, we aren’t the designers.

Next year will mark the fifth anniversary of the FREEDOM TOUR. My impatient self says we should have it all figured out by now.

The long view–God’s view–tells me we’re just getting started.

1 thought on “Why The Best View Is The Long View

  1. […] time I suggested that The Best View Is The Long View. In A Letter From A Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. explained the long view of social […]

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