Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Adjusting the Focus

My Grandpa Wehler was a nut about photography and when he died, I inherited all his camera equipment. I was thrilled with my good fortune and eagerly pulled out his top-of-the-line manual Cannon camera with multiple lens and gadgets. Unfortunately, my photography skills have been honed with a digital camera and trying to figure out how to twist and turn the lens to bring the picture into focus was impossible for my untrained hands. I carefully packed the expensive, but useless, equipment back up and haven’t touched it since. Life often feels like a manual camera in a digital world. How on earth do we get a clear picture?

I read Luke 22 today and gleaned some details I had never noticed before. Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover meal together and as Jesus broke bread and served them wine, He made it very clear to them that this was the last meal He would eat with them. You would think they’d be struck by the gravity of the situation and try to make every minute count. But no - two seconds later the disciples started arguing over who is the greatest and who would lead the different portions of the new kingdom Jesus was supposed to establish. Here they are, minutes from getting their entire world turned upside down, and they’re arguing over titles like little kids playing house. The disciples were oblivious to how petty and insignificant those arguments would appear in a matter of hours.

I had to laugh at the mess they were making because I can totally relate. I often find myself with tunnel vision, focused only on my problems, that seem GINORMOUS in the moment. My vision gets blurred and I can’t see how petty my concerns are in the grand scheme of things. My Bible commentary said, "What are your major concerns today? Twenty years from now, as you look back, will these worries look petty and inappropriate? Get your eyes off yourself and get ready for Christ's coming into human history for the second time."

Hmmmm… in 20 years, will we have made back the money we lost on Wall Street during the current financial crash? Will I still be scouring real estate listings for our dream home that we've yet to purchase and that still seems so elusive? Will we still be pinching pennies in a rental house and calculating proposed income on a clinic day that hasn’t materialized as quickly as we would choose? 20 years from now, I’m guessing that Paige will actually be pooping on the potty and not in her underwear, but I could be wrong.

Being manually focused in a digital world doesn’t mean that the things that cause us anxiety today aren't important, because Jesus tells us to cast all our cares on Him, even the little ones. But I have to be continually adjusting my lens, twisting and turning to get my earthly to eternal ratio in perspective. Jesus prompted His disciples to shift their focus off themselves and onto others. He gently reminded them that titles are irrelevant, but people are irreplaceable. He asked His disciples, and us, to twist the focus dial away from ourselves, nudge it a lot toward looking for ways to serve others, and then one more twist back toward Jesus, who fills us with purpose and direction. When I follow Jesus’ formula for being great, the lens of my life slowly shifts and turns, little by little, till suddenly life looks precise, sharp, and a lot less blurry around the edges.

1 comment:

  1. Jodie, I am so glad you are well. Your pictures actually are breathtaking. What beautiful country. And personally, I LOVE your do. I just got mine cut almost identically to yours! Your family seems great and I am so happy for you. Much love, Tammy Chapman