Yes, it’s an odd picture to post publicly given that I chopped the duck’s head off and mostly missed the picture I was trying to take. There, now that that’s out of the way you can go ahead and read page 141 to eventually see why I used this photo. 🙂
Page 141 is a Friday and I decided I should refer to it as a dual-shift day rather than a split-shift day. I was up extra early to start the inside cleaning by 5:30 so I would be able to begin mowing by daybreak. I figure there is not much point in serving if you’re not willing to consider what is best for those you serve, so I try not to mow outside the classroom windows or in other areas that would be a distraction to the students once the school day has begun. Once the cleaning and building prep was complete, mowing took up much of the morning and early afternoon. By 1:30 I decided I was hungry so I headed to lunch and then spent an hour or so actually sitting along the river — no Waist Management walk today. While I was at the river, I photographed some beautiful iris at Kate’s Garden Park in Mishawaka then got a few shots of a couple curious squirrels and a few ducks who came by. At one point, a pair of ducks flew toward me and it became apparent that they were going to do a water landing in front of me. I discovered that a full zoom leaves very little margin for error in where the camera is pointed and the timing of releasing the shutter. After watching the squirrels and ducks, I headed back to the church building for the Friday night cleaning and prep for Sunday. With the preschool graduation today, the auditorium was already set up and ready for Sunday so that saved some time. The cafeteria floor was another story as it took running the floor scrubber over it twice in order to get it clean, so there went the thought that I might finish early tonight. 🙂 Not only did that floor take extra time, but it completely ran the batteries down so once again I’m writing today’s page as the scrubber recharges. When it is ready, I will be able to do the hallways and finish up the work week.
As I thought about the day, I thought about how much this photograph is like the way we often view life. It is so easy to allow our focus to zoom in to our own little world and what is going on in our life that we tend to miss the bigger picture. Sometimes we’re so ultra-focused that we not only miss the big picture, but we miss the immediate picture that is right in front of us. I was following this duck with my camera on his approach to landing and I thought I had a good approximation of its speed and would be able to capture the moment he hit the water. But, as often happens with life, he was coming in faster than I anticipated so he had begun to slide out of my photo by the time I hit the button to release the shutter. If I had done a better job anticipating the speed, I would have likely gotten the picture I wanted because the part that I did capture is what I had pictured in my mind. But I also could have zoomed out to a wider point of view and given myself a little grace in the exact timing. I believe that our time spent listening to God through His Word and prayer, as well as listening to people, helps us to gain a wider perspective so that we are still able to capture just the right moment even when our timing isn’t quite perfect. When we see people and situations from God’s perspective, then we are more likely to serve, help, and even correct in ways that are good and proper.
I pray that you and I would seek to know God more fully each day. I pray that our time with God would help us to begin seeing things from a perspective that is closer to His than to ours. I pray that we would celebrate the work God does in and through people, even when it isn’t exactly what we were hoping for. I pray that seeking God’s perspective will help us during the events of life when we don’t accurately estimate the speed and timing of what God is doing.