This bird is an osprey; it fishes for a living. It will circle over the water and on average it will take about twelve minutes to spot a fish. It will then dive after the fish and at least one-fourth of the time it will catch it. An experienced bird will catch closer to three-fourths of the time. (Statistics from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology as presented on their All About Birds website. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/osprey)
I took the picture while sitting along the shore. My angle on the water caused me to look across the surface, and the reflective nature of the surface of the lake kept me from seeing into it. While I did catch one fish that day the osprey caught several, and ran a bunch of other errands in between.
This phenomenal capability is largely empowered by the bird’s vantage point. By being high above the water looking down, it could see into the water. The reflective problem is greatly reduced by the point of view giving the osprey a chance to see things I could not.
The lesson for us humans is to be aware of our perspective. Seeing an issue clearly often means getting above it. For the soldier this means taking the high ground. For the statistician this would mean getting as large and diverse of a sample as possible. For the Christian it means to seek holiness.
Believers often place themselves just outside of sin. Not so close as to be caught up in it, but close enough to vicariously enjoy the sight of it. As long as they are not getting their feet wet they are confident they are not sinning and therefore on good ground.
A safer approach would be to get as far away from the sin as possible. The extra distance will give you a better perspective on the sin, allowing you to fully understand what is wrong about it and eliminating its draw on you.
Does reaching for this higher stand seem unnecessary? Remember in Matthew 5:27-28 (NASB) Jesus taught we will be judged by the perspective we choose. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”