Thursday, June 29, 2006

What are we missing?

I ate lunch in the park the other day. After lunch, I grabbed my camera and took a walk. I was parked near the rose garden, so that's where I headed. I'm walking through the roses, looking for a good one for a photo when all of a sudden I looked up. The garden (if you live in Huntington, you should go see it) was FULL of roses -- hundreds of blooms. I almost missed it because I was so determined to find the ONE rose for a picture.

Do you ever do that? Do you focus so much on one thing that you miss everything else that is wonderful that is happening around you? I do that all the time!

I was reading Philippians today and came across one of my very favorite verses (Philippians 4:8):

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Think about these things!

If you know me, you may have heard this story before, but I can't read this verse without thinking of it. When our younger son, J, was born, he suffered from an injury to the nerve bundle in his right shoulder -- called a brachial plexus injury. For the first six weeks of his life, he wasn't able to move his right arm at all. The first time we took him to occupational therapy, at 7 weeks old, he was able to shrug his shoulder, just slightly, and we were thrilled.

Of necessity, we were very focused on his injury and its treatment.

One day I was in church, and this verse was part of the lectionary reading. All of a sudden it hit me -- I was so focused on J's injury, that I was missing everything else about him -- everything wonderful and commendable. Everything excellent and worthy of praise. Since then, I've always been grateful for this verse and for God's excellent timing in helping me to hear it.
It occurred to me today as I read this verse again, that we do the same thing so often in life. We are so focused on one thing, that we miss the abundance of everything else around us. Sometimes I need a reminder to open my eyes, and to see it ALL -- what is true, honorable, excellent and worthy of praise. It's there -- it's all around me -- but I get tunnel vision and miss it.

Images: One rose from the rose garden followed by an ABUNDANCE of roses in the garden, and then one that has nothing to do with the post, but I like it.


Blogger Wabi-Sabi said...

Great post. It reminds me of a very inspirational video that I saw recently featuring Dewitt Jones who is a former National Geographic photographer.

Dewitt tells the story of how he went to a meadow to take pictures of dandelions, but by the time he got back to the meadow to take the pictures the dandelions had gone to seed. All that was left was puffballs.

However, he embraced the beauty of what was before him and started taking pictures of puffballs - here, there, everywhere. When he was looking at the puffballs from all different angles he ultimately was able to take this stunning picture.

It was right there, and he almost missed it. I'm glad he didn't.

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Jeff the Methodist said...

Great post and great comment. "Everday Creativity" is a Dewitt Jones video I have seen that teaches (or reminds us) that creativity is a matter of perspective. Not that I'm a great photographer, but when I take pictures I can't tell the good ones from the bad ones until I am away from the scene. And I'm usually surprised by the ones that turn out best from that perspective.

9:00 AM  

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