My dad’s camera was one of the prized possessions I claimed after his death. Picturing him behind it is one of my enduring childhood memories. The old Nikon is truly a relic, but still fully functional. However, it has taken some effort and research for me to figure out how to use it.
In the beginning, I didn’t really understand how all the lenses and functions worked. I’m still no expert, but I have learned a little.
First, I had to figure out which lens to use and then I had to manually work the focus. I took it to several of my sons’ baseball games this spring to practice. I won’t tell you how many rolls of film I clicked through. It is funny how digital photography has shaped the way we think about picture taking. On my phone with 64 gigs of memory I can take nearly as many photos as I could ever want. But with a roll of film you are limited to 23 or 24, so you’d better make them good.
To capture the image clearly, you have to use the right lens. Longer lenses are made for distance shots, like a kid out in center field catching a fly ball, but they are no good for capturing spectators on the bleachers next to me. In fact, using the wrong lens can really ruin the photograph.
Once I choose the right lens for the shot and line up the image in the view finder, I have to slowly turn the focus to make sure the image will render correctly and clearly. And when I narrow the focus on my intended image, the rest becomes blurry and distracting details fade into the background.
To manage our stress this holiday season, we have to consider what memories we want to capture. Are we focusing on the temporal or the eternal? Have we fixed our eyes on pleasing man or being pleasing to God? Do we see more of what needs to be done than what has already been done for us? Decide today what you want to remember ten years from now and focus on capturing that image.
Let’s polish up our long distance lenses to view this season so we can look beyond all that tries to distract us from the true meaning of Christmas. Then we manually and intentionally adjust our focus so that only Jesus is clear and true and bright and watch in amazement as all else fades away. This will ensure we are left with only the very best memories of this holiday season.
To untangle the mess of holiday stress, we fix our focus on Christ.
But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord;
in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!
For more insight on untangling the mess of holiday stress see these other posts:
Part 3: Fill Up Before You Fall Out
Part 4: Decide with Priorities Not Pride
Part 5: Restore with Regular Rest
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Thought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul Survival, Monday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Woman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Word of God Speak, Testimony Tuesday, and Chasing Community.