On a recent trip to Seattle, I enjoyed getting a nice view of the city as the plane circled around in order to make the appropriate approach for landing.
I found myself looking over the swath of city, across the various lakes and waterways, around the guardian mountains–I was looking for just one thing: the Space Needle. Surely it would be an experience to behold the iconic landmark from above!
It was an experience indeed…a rather unremarkable one.
It took me quite some time to locate the tower, lost as it was amidst the other buildings residing within the city. It turned out to be like trying to find a single amber blade of grass on the plains of an African savannah.
And when I did finally locate it, I got no sense of its sky-scratching height or the ingenuity of its architecture.
The complete lack of impressiveness I experienced upon sighting the tower was due to one thing: perspective. When gazing down from a lofty position of my own, I was unable to experience any sense of wonder.
The joy of beholding something neat was lost on me because I myself was up too high. Several days later, I was able to drive right next to the Space Needle, and only then did I get a properly awe-filled look at it, coming from a view for which both it–and I–were designed.
It intimidates me to think how many other wonder-ready experiences turn out unremarkable because I am not of the right perspective to receive them. If I were to come with humility, without the illusion of self-importance, without the loftiness which a me-centered life so often engenders, how many more times would I find myself with a special opportunity to get caught up in wonder?
I may never again have the chance to fly over Seattle. I may never again have the chance to drive around the base of the Space Needle. And so, I must work to keep myself with proper perspective at all times, or else run the risk of encountering even more of the wonders of life and receiving them as rather unremarkable.