Do we ever take a step back and look at the big picture? Have we ever stopped to consider where events fit in the grand scheme of things? Have we ever looked outside ourselves and into someone else’s life? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We tend to look at things in snapshots, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, temporary glimpses of the total picture. We look at the situation that is right in front of our eyes and adjust it to what we want others to see. When we take a picture with our phone we rarely just post it without some adjustment. Most of the Social Media platforms make it easy and provide ways to improve what we see. Everything is not always whet is seems.

We consume ourselves with the here and now. More and more every day all around us our focus is narrowing. We are tuning our focus internally. We refuse to see things as they are or as they were. I remember back in the day when we had actual pictures you physically had to cut someone out of your life by trimming the photos with scissors. Now we just crop them out and save the new picture. We want to see the world the way we want it not necessarily the way it is.

There are racers who race that way, focusing on only that one moment, focusing only on their perspective. They race one way, wreckers or checkers. If they don’t win the race you better be on the hook because if they aren’t they must not have been trying hard enough. That type of thought process can be a self-fulfilling prophecy; you end up in the place your mind focuses on.

I remember being taught accident avoidance techniques. They teach you to focus on where you want the car to go, not the danger. When you focus on the danger that is where it will end up. Your body and mind work together to direct the car to the spot you are focused on. It can be difficult to focus away from the danger but many times that is where our focus is and guess what, that is where we end up.

The big picture also applies to the end of the season championship. When we are making decisions during the race we have a goal in mind. We may not be conscious of it but we do. What is our goal? Is it to get back at the guy who just bumped us out of the way to pass you? Is it to do anything and everything to win this one race? Is our goal to get the best finish possible and let the little things that happen in the race go? Remember our focus indicates where we end up.

Too often our focus is narrow, we do what it takes to win the race but lose the championship. Same in life, we do what we need to and get through the day but lose sight of the purpose of the journey. The car with the most victories doesn’t always win the championship. The person who lives the longest doesn’t necessarily have the most memories. We accomplish our short term goal but lose out in the long run. Maybe it would be good if we to look at things differently.

We need to look at a larger view of life, in the grand scheme of things what really matters. Do we pick each other apart? Do we try to police everyone’s actions and make sure justice is done? Do we spend so much time focused on the little things that we don’t see the big picture? When we live this way we get distracted from what really matters. We spend our time focused on things that really are not that important.

I am reminded of a passage Paul wrote to the Church at Colossi. He reminded people that they now belonged to Christ and their focus should be on things above. Here are a few verses to refer to;

Colossians 3:1-2; Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:12-14; Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:17; And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

It is easy to get caught up in the moment. It is easy to lose sight of what is truly important. It is easy to react to a situation out of frustration and anger. It isn’t always easy to forgive and show patience. We have to work to display that kind of response.

Maturity comes when we can follow the instructions of Paul and show compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We learn to look at the big picture when we value people the same way God values us, when we can forgive the way God forgave us.

Let me ask, are we looking at the big picture? Or are we so focused on every little detail that we cannot see the forest through the trees? I find it a little amusing that we have so many sayings that remind us to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. We must all need to be reminded in some way that everything isn’t always what it seems.

Please take the time to broaden your viewpoint. Take a step back and look at things from God’s perspective. You belong to Christ and His Spirit lives in you. Show the world what that means. You will be amazed at what you see.