Saturday, April 16, 2011

Camera Shy

Denise bought me a really cool camera last year. It is a Canon Rebel digital. It is not only a camera; it is also a video recorder. It has at least 13 settings plus 8 buttons. Not only that, it also has an extra zoom lens. This is the type of camera that professionals use. It will do close ups, distance shots, portraits, and more. Several of the settings have sub-settings, so I think that it has a total of 20+ options and then the eight buttons.

One of the settings is automatic. You just click on it, and it will automatically focus and take the shot with an automatic flash if needed.

I have had the camera for several months. I had it on our Disney vacation and on our cruise. I had it when we took two of our fundraising trips to various states. I had it with me for Christmas, for all of our birthdays, and for our anniversary.

The only setting that I have ever used is automatic. Think about it. This super expensive really nice camera that can do really cool things, and I treat it like it is a $49 point and shoot from Walmart. Why? Because it is easier and I like easy. I would have to learn how to use the other settings. I would have to maybe even, get ready for this, I know it is hard to understand and a little scary….but I might even have to read the manual! Who wants to do that!!

So, I just use the simplest setting. All of that potential, and I choose easy and nice over fantastic.

I picked up my camera to snap a shot of Mercy being goofy, and thought, “This is just like us.” We gravitate to the easiest setting in life. We have so much potential. We could be used by God to do incredible things in the world. We could be such a blessing to others.

If we put effort into it, our marriages could go from ‘not fighting’ to ‘happy’. You know what I mean. Most christian couples describe their marriages as home businesses. Everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and they all work together to keep the ‘marriage’ running. However, few people rarely say that they are happy, joyful, and ecstatic in their marriage. Few people look at their spouses as their best friend in the world and love to hang out together. Why? It is because the automatic setting on our marriage makes it good enough, especially when we compare it to the underexposed relationships of our friends.

If we really sought to improve ourselves, to apply ourselves, then perhaps our parenting skills could take our families from keeping the house clean and finishing schoolwork to the happiest place on earth. But, we don’t have time to read the manual (Bible) or even books on how to improve, so we leave the setting on automatic and do our three meals/day, laundry, and math. No one likes it much, but it takes a good enough picture.

If we wanted to we could cause our lives to go from maintenance to mission. We could start to do more than exist, and really start to live. We could look ahead and grab God’s vision for the world and for us rather than remember when… Consider this, how many of you who are reading this talk a lot about what has happened to you in the past, but rarely about what you are going to do in the future. For most people, when you leave life on automatic, you settle for a print of the life other people want you to have instead of the work of art God wants to create. Life on automatic happens, but it is usually boring. Nice photos of boring events. Like taking a picture of a sign when you are on vacation. Later on when you are looking at your photos you just breeze right past that one don’t you? It is a good photo of a boring event. Like the mundane, routine, ordinary lives of most Christians. Where is our joy? Where is our passion? Where is our excitement? Where is our adventure? Where is our power?

It is all on another setting. A setting in which you stop just living on automatic and start looking at accomplishing God’s incredible purpose for you in the world.

Would you join me on this adventure of being who God made us to be, rather than automatically copying the crowds around us?


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