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Shot Of The Day

Life is Like Photography

We stayed at an incredible hotel in Barcelona. Hotel Arts. Trying to photograph the physical structure was difficult because of its location and size compared to the other buildings around it. I kept getting massive amounts of blue sky with a bare building shooting through the middle. Angles didn’t work. Clouds were not cooperating. Birds were not flying into the frame to create a distraction from the imposing structure in the sky. I resigned myself to the fact that my shot of the hotel would be informational — “this is where we stayed” rather than invitational — “look at how cool this place was, you’ve got to see it!” Out for a walk early one morning, I saw a reflection of the building in water. It was stunning. A different view. Almost like steel melting into itself. It reminded that there is always a different perspective. Way of looking at a situation. Angle to approach a problem. A new view. Apropos of that revelation, a missionary recently sent me this quote — “Life is like photography. You develop from the negative!” Is that not the truest thing? I mean, really! The problem, I suppose, is that we live in a digital age. We don’t want to go through the slow process of development from the negative. Who needs negatives any more? We can click thousands of frames without taking the risk of growing by slowing down, taking a shot that counts and then slowly watching it come to life in the dark room as we analyze what we could have done better or what we did well. Our thousand-shot-lives are still on the SD Card waiting to be examined. Don’t get me wrong, I love digital. But I miss the slow growth in life. The ability to examine the negative and take time to plan the next better shot. Ironically, I never spent any time in a dark room, but I understand enough about the process to let this analogy penetrate me while I watch the chronic speed of life racing past the lesson of the negative. Today my women’s small group slowed down enough to ponder the concept of being poor of spirit. In trying to wrap our minds around the principle, we added up the moments we were truly desperate for something to fill us. Times when we were at the absolute end of ourselves. Plan B was already toast and all of our human effort couldn’t save us. We had no choice but to look at the situation from another angle. To consider that perhaps our illusion of control is far more dangerous than we know. To imagine that a power greater than our own ability is at work and that maybe, if we relent, we would actually discover just how great that love really is. Totally stripped of our own ability, those were the times we encountered God. Deep faith. Sober conviction. The negative left us positive in the end because we were actually empty enough of our own ability to receive something divine. So many questions of faith turn the wisdom of the world on its head. Like this building, beautifully upside down in the water. I really like that view. Even if it is negative.

Posted: 20 September 2011