What do you see in this picture?

In Sunday school yesterday, we had a brief discussion on the importance of good attitudes and maintaining a grateful heart. You know…is the cup half full, half empty, or just bigger than it needs to be? 🙂 I was thinking about the lesson this morning as I glanced out the window to decide how warmly to dress for my morning jaunt. I saw a world of gray and brown…not very enchanting. Forecast: pretty empty! “Oh dear,” I thought to myself, “my default setting is to see a gloomy global picture. Not good!”However, upon a more careful inspection (by actually going outside and studying the woodscape), I noticed that there are signs of life, even though it was very hard to get my camera to focus on them. In fact, I had to change the setting from “Automatic” to “Portrait” and use a flash to actually get a good close up of some of the emerging beauty.Ah, here we are! This is what I was trying to see all along!

This made me think of how I often fail to perceive God even when he’s right in front of my face. I have a friend who just read the book God Hides in Plain View.  My “automatic” mental setting makes it impossible to see him, and until I change my focus (and even better—get a flash of insight from the Word), I can’t get a clear picture!

Of course, even when I get my clear picture of something on this earth, I can still ask the question: Is this good or bad? Am I looking at the thorn or the budding black raspberry flower? Again, it’s an issue of focus! Our sermon was entitled “Think on These Things.” What things? Why not focus on what is good and hopeful in every situation? Be realistic, sure. Deal with the bad, but FOCUS on the good! I want to focus my mind constantly on what is good and practice learning how to find the best in everything around me.

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Philippians 4:8