Last week life began to return to normal after our family vacation. The suitcases have been unpacked and put away, the laundry has been processed, and all the souvenirs have found new homes at various places around the house. We also managed to download our digital camera, along with snapshots from four separate cell phones and a fairly lengthy montage of video footage. And then, in order to capitalize on a photo printing sale last weekend, I sat down at the computer and cautiously waded into the massive undertaking of culling through over 1200 pictures with the goal of creating a cohesive scrapbook to capture the essence of our trip while the memories are still fresh!
As I compared the shots, I discovered that the story told by photos of the same subject radically changed depending on how they were framed.
For example, these 3 shots gave different impressions of the same Giant Sequoia trees.
The first, helps show their massive size,
the second, their stunning height
and the third, their towering relationship to other trees nearby.
And of course, what was excluded from the picture affects its message as well. In this case, you can’t tell we were up in the mountains at about 5000 feet elevation or that we’d climbed up the side of an embankment to take these shots.
So, the impact and the story of a picture depends almost totally upon how it’s positioned in the frame.
I think believers can learn a lot from this observation… specifically, about how to process the stuff we experience in the world today. With all the negativity, hostility and doomsday forecasting that swirls around us in the news and on social media, God’s children must learn how to reframe the way we picture events from both the world and in our personal lives. If we try to process them through a natural lens, we’ll always end up with a distorted and grainy illusion of reality.
However, as we meditate on God’s Word, His truth becomes the steady and immovable backdrop that gives us the only reliable filter that will expose the lies of the enemy and enable us see things as they truly are.
It’s then that we continue to bring our circumstances into sharper focus by choosing HOW we think about them… carefully choosing what we include in the image, and how it is framed. No matter how much we may dislike what happens to or around us, Paul makes it clear that believers have no grounds to hold onto anger, bitterness, or entertaining jealous, envious or permissive thoughts. Instead, we are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5) Peter echoed this by instructing us to “be self-controlled, and set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Pet. 1:13)
So the next time your world seems in a blur…. Let me challenge you to adjust the angle from which you view your situation. Use God’s Word to narrow or widen your field of view, adjust the exposure through worship, and refine your focus with prayer. Then you will capture a clearer image from a different vantage point. Hopefully one from above!