I’m a photographer wannabe.
I’ve never owned a really good camera, so playing around with my iPhone, Adobe Photoshop, Picasa, and iPhone Apps like Instagram and A Beautiful Mess keep me satisfied… for the time being.
I’ve considered buying a more complicated camera, but every time I do, I talk myself out of spending the money.
It’s not really just the price tag that repels me–it’s the fear that I’ll spend the money and not be able to figure it out well enough to take really good pictures. I had lasik surgery about 7 years ago (I wish I had done it years earlier!), and I can see better than ever–except now with 50+ years comes a little farsightedness.
I use non-prescription reading glasses, but never think to put them on when I’m taking pictures. With an automatic camera I don’t have to worry about whether or not my pictures are in focus, so most likely I’ll continue to use my iPhone and doctor them up when I need to.
I was preparing a lesson for my 6th graders this week and, as it often does, the focus of the lesson became clear.
In Mark 10, the rich young ruler comes to Jesus and asks, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Included in Jesus answer was the statement, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
Many will read this passage and think the primary focus of this lesson is on greed. I’ve read this story many times, and every time I read it I am sad for this young man who just didn’t see clearly that Jesus was trying to teach him that his priorities were all wrong. When we become followers of Jesus, our whole life should be about following Him–pursuing a life that is looking to Him for WISDOM: the ability to see the world from His perspective.
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12: 1-2 (HCSB)
“Keeping our eyes on Jesus” means that our gaze is on our Savior, Creator, and Redeemer–and our focus on the things that matter to Him.
For some of us, we spin our wheels trying to accumulate “stuff”, and the only dream we have amounts to a pile of rubble. For others it is power or position or perfection, and visions of grandeur eat away at our identity. How easy it is to fall into the devil’s trap of misguided passion if we don’t keep our eyes on the One who desires our complete devotion. HOW do we do it? The Bible says it this way,
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure,whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:4-8
My temptations are not the same as yours. My struggles are my own. Whether my focus is on the “good” things that are robbing me of God’s best, or I’m consumed by the negative, I am far from where God wants me to be: enjoying His presence and His power and His purpose.
Is it time for you to get a checkup? In my country many are consumed with taking care of their physical bodies while neglecting their spiritual. I pray that every time I start to go down the path of self-focus, no matter what form it make take, that God will gently remind me that what I’m really looking for is HIM!
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.” Ephesians 1:17-19
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