Picture Perfect

This is a re-post of a note I published September 24, 2014 on Facebook. I am transferring my notes from Facebook into my Float the River blog.

I love photography. Ya, I know, that is a shocking revelation to anyone who even takes a casual look at my Facebook profile. I love exploring and recording life and the world around me. With a camera and a selection of lenses I can bring into focus the smallest of details, the grandest of horizons, and capture powerful moments of the human experience. You have probably heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. I get that! I love looking at the world around me. The Bible declares that God has revealed Himself in creation and in it He has displayed His invisible attributes and divine nature (Romans 1). The conviction of my faith in that invigorates me as I look at the wonder of the world He has created. As I look at people I see powerful themes of depravity and redemption.

Some of my best photos though (more than I would like to admit), find their demise at the push of the “DELETE” key. I find it very frustrating that some of the pictures I am most excited about end up getting trashed. While other factors often come into play, probably the biggest reason they are deleted and never seen again is because my focus point was off. Some of my best images of butterflies and hummingbirds became very drab pictures of leaves and branches. All it took was for me to miss by mere inches, often fractions of inches! What should have been key background and surrounding elements that serve to highlight the subject, ended up being nothing more than distracting clutter.

As I was going through some particularly frustrating images the other day, it struck me that I often “miss” key moments in life. Mind you, not because I didn’t recognize them, but because my focus was off. God’s attentive work in shaping me, growing me, displaying Himself to me is so easily lost if my focus drifts even slightly off. When pain, disappointment, hurt, grief, frustration, trials, guilt (etc. etc. etc…) become my focus point, I miss the image. I miss the picture. What God has placed around my life to highlight HIM and HIS work in my life, only becomes a distracting clutter when my focus is not where it should be.

I need to remind myself daily…no, hourly…that the beauty of God in me will only be realized if my focus is on Him. God’s love is perfect, His faithfulness is true, His care for me is sure, His attention is fixed, my hope is secure…no matter the details that surround me. If my focus in on Christ, and Christ alone, the picture will indeed be worth a thousand words.

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