My relationship with pictures has been an evolving one.
As a child, I loved taking them. Maybe it was a fascination with the old Polaroid cameras that held my attention back then.
How in the world did one press a button and after a few minutes of feverishly flapping the “paper” be able to produce a facsimile of me?
As I got older, teenage turbulence threatened to keep me from in front of a camera. Conscious of how I was changing, I was uncertain that I wanted the process captured on film. Consequently, I pored over each picture, anxiously picking at details, desperate to reassure myself that I looked good enough.
By then the process of photography had changed as well. Now you took pictures unendingly it seemed, then turned them in to be developed. Hope captured within a mysterious, little, black cylinder.
Days later, time would tell. Sometimes the pictures came out great, other times not so much – a lack of flash, too much light; still other times only a dark canvas emerged.
These experiences didn’t stop me from taking pictures though.
As the years rolled on, photography proved integral to capturing the critical moments in my life. Memories I wish to preserve long past when my feeble mind eventually gives out. My wedding day, the birth of my daughter, college graduation and more. And my options for securing them are now varied in this era of advanced technology.
Now I am not as concerned about how I look when taking the picture; I am more interested in the end result.
Life can be a bit like that sometimes. When we are young, our child-like trust in God is evident. The big God of the universe seems superhero-sized to us. Our simple prayers reflect our innocent faith in Him.
However, as is often characteristic of the teenage years, we sometimes move into a roller-coaster relationship with God. At times trusting Him, usually with the small stuff and other times disowning our faith altogether.
Hopefully, by the time we are adults we are less concerned with how the world sees us and more focused on the BIG PICTURE – living a life that is pleasing to God and sharing His love with others.
Hopefully, we are not distracted by the details in the pictures of this temporary life; sometimes they show a life that is lacking faith and overshadowed by too much self. Other times, the trials and challenges that come our way leave us with a dark and dismal-looking canvas.
It isn’t always easy, but hopefully our eyes look forward to the end result; when we will hear from our Lord those long-desired words,”Well done, thou good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25: 21 (KJV).
Until then, let us keep our eyes on the prize.