Living Right-side Up in an Upside Down World

I’ve been told that I’m not normal.  And it’s true.  For as long as I can remember, I haven’t seen things in the manner that most people view them.  In the last few years, my perspective on things has gone even further out of line, from the “normal” world.  

It can be a difficult life when you are misunderstood. A few years ago, I started to figure out why I view things so differently.  I’m upside down from the world’s views.

Buying an RV

God has us do things differently on a regular basis.  Take for example, our recent negotiation to purchase a 5th wheel travel trailer for the ministry.  

Dallas was scrolling through her Facebook page and came across a 5th wheel RV for sale.  The asking price was $12,500 which was less than the $12,800 the ministry had in its RV fund.  After looking at the pictures, Dallas messaged the seller, to arrange a time to look at the trailer.  I started to look at what this model was selling for, and all of the listings were from $18,000 to $24,000.  Now, I was wondering, what was wrong with this one.

The trailer is 13 years old so there are a few things that need attention, but it fits the main criteria that we need for counseling and ministering on the road.  Both of us had a peace from the Lord to proceed with the purchase.

When I started to talk about the price, confirming that he was asking $12,500, he got a bit uncomfortable.  He had realized the asking price was too low and removed the original post, relisting the trailer for $15,000.  

We only had $12,800 in the RV fund for a purchase.  I told him how much we had and that we were buying it for a ministry.  I had previously asked if he would be willing to deliver it to our house, since we don’t have a tow vehicle, and he had agreed.  Since he was delivering it, he asked if we could pay $13,000.  I thought we could take $200 from the general fund and make that happen.  We agreed to a sale price of $13,000 upon receiving approval from our Board.

Abnormal negotiations

On the drive home, Dallas said, “What if we paid him $13,500?”  This isn’t how most purchase negotiations work.  Generally, the buyer tries to get the lowest price and pays what is agreed upon, not more.  However, I felt that this was from the Lord and would bring Him great honor as a testimony to His great provision, not just for us, but also for the seller.  So, we presented the idea to the Board for their input and approval.  By the end of the evening, we had unanimous approval from the Board, and I messaged the seller that we would pay him $13,500 for the trailer.

The next day, we spoke, and he gave me his bank information, so that I could transfer the money.  He was to come by our house after work and bring the title.  Another unusual thing that I did was to move all of the funds without seeing the title.  Normally, you would do that simultaneously.  Humanly, I questioned what I was doing, but felt that the Lord was in it, so we would be okay.  The seller did show up that evening with a clear title in hand.  He also came through with delivering the trailer to our house later that week, a day earlier than expected.

This is not a normal way of doing things! But it is God’s way of doing things, and He will be glorified.

Throughout the entire process, we shared about the Lord and how good He is to us.  The seller was open to hear and even asked about our church.  We are praying that he and his young family will come to know the Lord personally.

Viewing things from a different perspective

When we start to look at the world from God’s perspective, we see things differently.  God’s Kingdom is right-side up, which means our world is upside-down.  We have been trained to look at things from the upside-down view for so long that we think it is right-side up, but it’s not.  We need to reorient to God’s ways.  Too many of us try to make God fit into our way of viewing things.  We miss so much, when we fail to see as He sees.  We need His perspective.

We generally look at things the way we have been taught by those around us.  We see ourselves as insignificant or unworthy.  God sees us as His beloved children.  My friend Dan wrote about this recently in his Wilderness Preacher blog.

As we transition to being right-side up, it can be rather disorienting.  If you flip back and forth continually, it can be really disorienting.  For those who have taken a flight in an acrobatic airplane with a skilled pilot, they know just how disorienting, and possibly nauseating, it can be to flip around, rolling and tossing.  Some get a thrill, others just want to be back on solid ground.  

Personally, I love flying in a small airplane, in smooth air, but I don’t like rolls and flips.  As I’m learning to walk in God’s ways, I find it best to not be flipping back to the old ways of thinking and acting.

Difficult conversations

As we make the shift to God’s view, we can become disoriented because it feels so different, and sometimes even wrong.  We may even be wishing to just go back to the “solid ground” of our past ways.  Unfortunately, that solid ground is really shaky, like shifting sand.

Our family and friends will very likely look at us with concern.  These can be difficult conversations to have.  I know, I’ve had many of them.

Everything that they are saying makes complete sense, and yet I’m disagreeing with the conclusion.  There have been several occasions where I’ve been thinking to myself, “If I was in their place, I’d be saying the exact same things. Maybe I’ve completely lost my mind.” 

And yet, I can still say very clearly, with great confidence, that we need to do things the way God says, not how it makes sense to us.

These conversations have led to more than one occasion to practice forgiveness on both sides.  I hope that I’m getting better at having these difficult conversations with an attitude of love, though I know I still have room for improvement.

His ways are better

The more I walk in His uprightness and viewpoint, the more comfortable I am becoming with doing things differently.  I have grown in my faith and understanding of who I am in Christ.  There is great security in knowing that I’m a beloved child of God.  There is also freedom to make mistakes.  

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

    so are my ways higher than your ways

    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Our time here on earth is a short part of our eternal life.  We need to start living from God’s eternal Kingdom perspective.  

How are you viewing the things of life?  Are you willing to go through the uncomfortable, in order to align with God’s right-side up Kingdom?

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