Friday, July 16, 2010

Wide Angle, Narrow Focus

I love photography...in fact, it's a passion of mine.  I love to take pictures, especially pictures in nature.  One of the lenses I like to use is an ultra-wide angle.  I've been borrowing my brother-in-law's 10-22mm and it's a blast.  Most amateur photographers, however, don't properly use a wide angle lens.  They think the purpose of the wide angle is to simply fit "more stuff" into a picture.  What you end up with, often, (not always), is a picture with no real focal point that lacks a certain passion.  The trick with the wide angle lens is instead, to get super close to a subject, thus getting the viewer right smack in the middle of something.  (If you're a photographer, click here for a great article on this concept).  For the stop sign picture above, I'm standing about 3 inches away from the bottom of the pole.

Now at this point you may be wondering, "uh, Mike, did I click on the wrong blog here?"  Allow me to continue.  I believe Jesus lived His life in a similar way to the "proper use of a wide angle lens."  He, Jesus, always had the big picture in mind...the wide angle.  Everything He said and did always pointed back to the coming of the kingdom of God.  He was constantly kingdom focused - big picture.  Jesus never lost perspective.

And yet, at the same time, He became intricately involved in the lives of people.  He always had time for a 1 on 1 discussion.  He would "draw close" to his subject constantly.  Whether the woman at the well, a rich ruler, or one of the myriad of healings He performed, He constantly poured His life into others.  All the while, never losing sight of the big picture.

Making sense yet?  In a good wide angle picture, you draw close to the subject, knowing that the wideness of the shot is what makes the subject "pop."  Jesus drew close to individuals, never losing sight of the big picture of the kingdom of God.

Applications?  I think there's a couple...
1) Perspective.  God always takes a macro or "wide-angle" view of our lives.  He never let's the crisis of the moment get in the way of the long term goal.  He's always more interested in building our character and perseverance than in simply rescuing us from the moment.
2) It's a model for us to follow.  Most of us fall into 1 of 2 categories; we're either so micro focused that we never draw back to see the bigger picture, or we're so "big picture" that we often come off as "not living in reality."  I think God calls us to be "big picture kingdom-oriented" people, who engage with individuals on a micro level.

Me?  I tend to be group-focused, big picture, and it's often hard for me to get "close" to my subjects.  And yet, that's where my greatest impact lies.  How about you?

3 comments:

Tony C said...

Great stuff Mike!

I stumbled upon your blog today and I'm so glad I did. God is here, and I hope He blesses you greatly for your efforts in His name.

Keep it up brother!

Ramblingon said...

I happened upon your blog. I am a passionate amateur photographer too..uploading some of the better as I've grown, to Flickr. I have a Nikon DSLR, ditched the stock lens and have an 18-200 and a close up at present. One day, I'll upgrade but not yet. I'm still learning.

Great to meet 'cha.

Ramblingon said...

And I am a Christian..how in the world I didn't state that and first...my goodness.

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