Today's Gospel (Mark 8: 27-32) tackles a very difficult topic - perspective. Perspective is the way you look at life, people, situations, choices, etc. Every one of us has a unique perspective, which takes into account our own experiences and perceptions. This personal perspective is what motivates our instincts, for example. In fact, we share this with other living creatures. Where we are unique as humans is in the fact that we can shift our perspective - put ourselves in another's place. It is what we refer to as "walking a mile in another's shoes".
As much as we talk about how important that is, it is never easy. Jesus today warns His disciples that they are not "thinking as God does". This is a new, unbelievably high standard. Hard enough to think as another person, let alone God! How is it possible?
Well, we have some hints when we examine the words and works of Jesus in the gospels. When we hear Him talk about turning the other cheek or doing good to those who hate you, it only makes sense if we can put ourselves in God's place. He sees us all as His children, loving each of us completely. Just as any parent, God is not always pleased by our decisions, but that does not diminish His love for us. And it is why He does not want to see us interacting with one another in any but a loving way.
Each day we make decisions about how we will react to people and situations, and we instinctively do that based on our own perspective - how we see things. The challenge is to try and see as God does, to think as God does, beginning with a perspective of loving all who are involved. And as we try and make plans for our lives, it is always good to take a step back and ask what God will think. The more we are in tune with the mind of God, the more we will be inclined to make decisions that are right for us and for others. Thinking as God does is challenging, but the rewards are out of this world!