At some point, most children hear the ancient parable of blind men describing an elephant. But, in case you’ve either forgotten this little tale – or never heard it – let’s briefly recap:
“A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to their town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: ‘We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable.’ So, they sought it out and when they found it, they groped about it. The first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said ‘This being is like a thick snake.’ For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. A third, whose hand was upon its leg, said, ‘The elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk.’ The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, ‘Elephant is a wall.’ The next, who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is hard, smooth and like a spear.”
And, like all parables, this has a moral takeaway: One viewpoint or perspective can fail to yield the whole picture… or even, an ACCURATE picture! Not until a sighted man put all the pieces together for our observers did they begin to “see” the truth.
I’m positive you can think of a similar example in our lives today. Let’s take the internet, for instance. When the World Wide Web first became accessible to the general public, AOL stepped-in to make navigating this information superhighway more “manageable.” They created a “mini-web” with carefully selected resources gathered in one place for their users.
Unfortunately, many people thought the world of America Online was the ENTIRE internet! They ONLY saw a tiny slice of the “www-pie”… and, just like the blind men, assumed they were surfing the whole “worldwide web.”
And, considering the expanse, it wasn’t necessarily a bad idea initially! Sometimes our minds simply cannot grasp big, new, audacious concepts in one single bite – or “byte,” in this instance. But TODAY, we scoff at anyone who still thinks AOL is synonymous with the entire internet.
Then slowly, we realized the FULL scope of resources, entertainment and commerce available… and left our sheltered little AOL world behind. Time – AND perspective – can dramatically change our opinions and assessments of ANYTHING!
The same holds true for us as children of God, and even here, at King’s Ransom Foundation. We just see a tiny sliver of His plans for us and can fall into the trap of basing ALL our actions on that little divine peek! Just as we needed assistance to unwrap the full expanse of the internet, we need guidance to explore the full extent of God’s wonders.
Even in the early days of Christianity – and these people actually KNEW or HEARD Jesus – we needed a “sherpa” to unfold the vast miracles and promises contained in His teachings. And Paul humbly accepted this mission: “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach…the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known...” (Ephesians 3:8-10)
In our day-to-day lives, we make a host of assumptions at every turn, sometimes founded exclusively on just the puzzle pieces WE see. Your priorities are not necessarily my priorities or focus. Our vision may not be your vision. It’s not until someone – someone who sees the BIG picture – shares their knowledge, do we begin to adopt a shared mindset!
And, that’s one purpose behind these weekly posts. Every day at King’s Ransom Foundation we see the needs around the world… and around the corner. In fact, we’ll even admit to borderline “tunnel vision” because the unimaginable poverty, loss, abuse and danger, crossing our line-of-sight DAILY, can be all-consuming. And, yes, can become “the elephant in OUR room!”
For us, it’s all about perspective. Just as Paul honestly felt “not good enough” to spread God’s message of love, redemption and hope, we have humbly accepted this mission to “save children, raise leaders, transform generations” – as unworthy as we might be.
That’s why we NEED your perspective, your observations, your stories. So please share your viewpoint with us. Look, we KNOW we don’t see the whole “elephant” and count on you – and God – to guide US in expanding and fulfilling our vision… and hope to do the same for YOU!