95-year-old Samuel J. Seymour appeared on the game show “I’ve Got a Secret” on February 8th, 1956.    

Most of you have probably never heard his name, but he was present at a major event in the history of the United States. Seymour’s secret was that he witnessed one of the biggest tragedies in U.S. History–the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

At the time of the show, Samuel was the only living witness of that event. 

Seymour, who was five years old during the assassination,  had been taken to Ford’s Theatre by his nurse, Sarah Cook, and Mrs. Goldsboro–the wife of his father’s employer. 

He remembered hearing someone in the President’s press box screaming, then seeing President Lincoln slump over.

However, Seymour’s attention was quickly torn from the President because a man fell from the balcony onto the stage.

That man was John Wilkes Booth. Not knowing who Booth was or what Booth had done, Samuel’s naive concern became focused on the assassinator. 

“Hurry, hurry, let’s go help the poor man who fell down,” Seymour remembered saying. 

At that point, Booth was already up and running–only to be caught 12 days later. 

It is kind of funny to think about. Seymour’s focus was on helping the most dangerous person, a direct threat to Seymour himself and everyone else in the room. 

From Seymours’ perspective, Booth’s dramatic fall was the biggest problem in the room. But in reality, the biggest problem at hand was that the President on the balcony had been shot by the man who’d fallen on the stage.

Life often messes with our perspective. From our point of view, it’s the things that are right in front of us that affect us the most. 

In reality, it’s the things that are hidden and out of view that have the biggest impact on our lives.

We let small problems and petty squabbles become the center of our attention–which causes us to lose sight of the big picture.

I think of the children of Israel after God delivered them out of the bondage of Egypt. It didn’t take long for small things to change their perspective.

Their focus went to trivial things, which became the only lens they looked through. This lack of proper perspective caused most of them to lose out on entering the land that God promised them.

We often focus on trivial such as “what are we going to eat?” or “what am I going to wear.”Which causes us to lose out on the things God has promised us. 

If the Israelites would have only had God’s perspective, things would have been so much different.  Everything can be different for us as well, depending on whose perspective we have–our own flawed perspective or God’s perfect one. 

Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

When we seek God first, He takes care of all the trivial things so we can focus on what matters and see things through His perspective.

We must make sure that we are focused on the man on the balcony and not the man on the stage. 

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