Are You Seeing the Big Picture?
March 24, 2020
When our kids were young, it was Easter Sunday, so all of our family was together at church and everyone was dressed up. Seeing all the children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins looking so good, I really wanted to get a family picture. But I didn't say anything to anyone, including my kids, even though I had it all planned out to do after the services. But by the time we rounded everybody up and were positioning them for the photo, I saw that my little kids had changed out of their cute Easter clothes and into their playclothes. With everyone in position, there wasn't time for me to change them. I remember how frustrated I was. I wanted this picture to be perfect. This was supposed to be my picture. I did not want khaki shorts and green T-shirts in my picture! At the time, that's all I saw, but do you know that picture is one of my most treasured possessions today? It captured a memory to enjoy for a lifetime.
Sometimes the smallest things that don't really matter can really irritate us. We forget the big picture. We forget to enjoy the blue skies, the smiling faces, our children, our home. When we see the flaws in our life picture, especially when they fall short of our personal expectations, that's all we focus on, and suddenly everything turns negative.
Think about Adam and Eve. They were in a perfect garden—beautiful, lush, flowers of every kind, fruit everywhere they went. They could eat all they wanted and not gain weight! There was no laundry to do! All they had to do was care for this amazing God-given garden. Then one day Eve focused her eye on a single tree, the one tree in the garden from which God had told them they could not eat. On that day, that tree became the biggest thing that she saw and distorted her view of the whole garden. All she could see was what she didn't have.
We can't let what we think are flaws in our lives to distort the whole picture. We can't let one forbidden tree distort the amazing life God has given us. Let's focus on the whole picture, what we do have—the loving relationships, the abundant provisions, the gifts and talents, the grace and love of God. In the long run, the flaws don't matter at all.
Don't live in regret by focusing on what you think is less than. Don't be like the man who asked, "Why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" (Ecclesiastes 4:8). Enjoy what God has given you right now. Soak in the beauty of khaki shorts and green T-shirts.