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From the Pulpit: Adjust your lens

January 14, 2019
Chris Brekke

When what you’re looking at is not pretty, then what? When the reality in front of your eyes is ugly, what’s the best approach?

One shouldn’t just close your eyes and pretend that the trouble does not exist. That would be childish and immature. One should face life’s unpleasantries and do what you can to change it. “Roll up your sleeves and get to work,” your dad might say.

In addition to that, or when it’s a situation that you cannot change, let me offer this idea: Adjust your lens.

Think with me for a bit about cameras. If the view right there in plain sight in front of your eyes is miserable, just to keep staring at it and taking mental pictures and stewing over it will grind you down.

Though you can’t alter that reality — be it cancer or family dysfunction or job loss or rejection or whatever form of lousy you’re dealing with — you can adjust your lens. You can focus a) way smaller, or b) way bigger, right?

Adjustment a) is to zoom in. You can look at the little lovely things even on an awful day. Is there the marvel of one flower’s tiny intricacy? Is there one smile among the frowning faces? Is there one candle piercing the darkness? Adjust your lens and gaze at the small goodness that is present.

Or, b) zoom your view way out wide. Think big; as in big-picture and long-term. Think of the majestic beauty of creation; look up at the heavens; glory in your Maker’s perfect and eternal love; rejoice in His final victory. Zoom out and up. One can go beneficially either to the microscopic or the telescopic. Got it?

I have a daughter-in-law who is terrific with a camera. She can take wonderful “common view” shots of life, and she can also “zoom in” and “zoom out.”

You can do that, too, with your mind’s eye. Human beings are enabled to have more than a flat materialistic perspective. When the picture in your life screen might make you keep weeping, adjust your lens. See the goodness of the Lord in the little things, and in the upper horizon. This is a gift of sight that God grants you. Don’t miss it.

Christians try to develop this focus: “Gaze at Christ and glance at troubles; don’t gaze at troubles and glance at Christ”. Uh huh. There’s a great blessing in that; any day and every day. Adjust your lens.

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