Snapshots & Perspective

We often see life in snapshots.

Since we don’t know the details of the future, we see the present and the past.

As we look at the past, we often see a snapshot of the positive.

  • We remember how in the ‘good ole days’ we did this or that.
  • We remember how great things were where we used to live.
  • We think about our current job and remember when things were simpler.
  • We remember how much fun we ‘used to have’.

In the present, we often look at the pain.

  • That little bump in the road today seems like it will never be a thing of yesterday.
  • The financial situation we find ourselves in today seems like it could be the end of the world… the end of our world.
  • The rebellious acts of our children seem like too heavy of a burden on our shoulders.
  • That breakup seems like it may end our dating life forever.
  • That test seems like a mountain in front of our degree.

The pain of the present will eventually fade away.

Those problems will seem so small compared to the joys we get to experience day in and day out…
even today.

Look at the snapshot of the positive.

See the mountain in front of you, but notice the sun rising in the distance.
Feel the pain inside, but see the beauty around.

What snapshot are you holding today?

Please note: I realize that this doesn’t apply to everyone. There are people (most people) with real past hurts and real present pain. I’m not discounting that. For many of us though, changing our perspective can go a long way in changing our snapshot of the present.

16 Comments

  1. I’m holding a huge snapshot that is both awe-inspiring and terrifying. But, it is a snapshot that pushes me to be more than I’ve ever been and trust God more than I ever have. I like this snapshot!

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  2. Nice new blog look!

    I’m re-living some snapshots from high school this morning because of music I used to listen to then…brings me back! Your point is a good one that basically the grass is always greener…in the past or the future, but the present is what we have. I look back at old journals and always see me craving what’s next, and even now I can’t wait until…we can move, our situation changes, there’s an ever present restlessness. But these are the days I know I’ll look back on with affection.

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    1. Brandon, if you’re referring to “Before the Morning”, I absolutely love that song! The line “Life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time, but you’ll see the bigger picture” is so powerful!

      But great post, Jonathan.
      I always use the reference of we can only see the horizon. We can’t see beyond it. We can only look behind us and see the past and know that what we see is now the present, but God sees everything – past, present, and future – and He knows how everything works out. God works everything for our good, so despite where we are now, we have to, like you said, look at the snapshot of the positive.

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  3. Almost 2 years ago I walked through the darkest time of my life…I thought I was going to die, and quite frankly, wished I would. This past weekend part of that darkness rose its ugly head, but instead of being beat down by it, I rose above it, victorious. I can see how far I have actually come and how much stronger I am today. God has been faithful.

    So yes, the thing we walk through in the present, while DEVASTATING, will one day be looked at through the eyes of victory and God will use our mess to bring HIS message of HOPE! Most things we walk through don’t last forever.

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      1. Thanks, Jonathan.

        The thing with snapshots is it’s a very narrow focus of the whole picture. Think about a picture you have of a family member at Christmas time. While you may see Grandpa and his wrinkles up close, what you can’t see is all the love, joy and gifts surrounding him. There’s more to the snapshot than just what shows up on film. We need to use our imaginations to see “the bigger picture”.

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  4. I’m *trying* to hold onto a snapshot that inspires fear (because I don’t know what the future holds) and awe (because I know God will do some amazing things), but too often the snapshot is of a better past and a sucky present. I’m working on it though.

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