I've been thinking about getting a different camera. Thing is, I love my camera. It's a Sony Cybershot (also called a credit-card camera because it's about that big), and it takes great pictures. Videos, too. I can take it with me where I go--just stick it in my purse or a pocket. So why was I thinking about replacing it? Because I couldn't take closeups.
I love taking closeups! I love seeing minute details, the fine points of beauty and structure. But when it came to capturing that on film, I was an utter failure. I tried monkeying with the settings. Hit all the buttons I could find to hit. But no matter what I did--and I've been trying for a couple of years--here's what I got:
As you can imagine, I was, at first, disappointed. Then frustrated. Then determined to find a camera that worked, doggone it! So I've been looking at the new cameras coming out lately, exploring, but guess what? Every time I tested one, I got the same results. Blurry closeups.
Now, if you know digital cameras at all, you've probably already figured out what I was doing wrong. If not, let me clue you in. I finally, last week, talked with one of the sales guys at an electronics store. Told him what it was I wanted to do and what I'd tried. He responded without hesitation: "Oh, you need to find the macro setting."
I looked at him like he'd just sprouted an elephant's trunk in the middle of his forehead. (Which would have made a GREAT closeup, but even if I'd had my camera, it would've come out blurry...) "The what?"
"The macro setting. Here, let me show you."
Unfortunately, he wasn't a camera salesman, so he couldn't figure out where it was on the new Cybershot, but that didn't matter. I'd discovered the key: Find the macro setting.
So home I went, straight to my trusty computer. (Yes, I should have gone to the manual, but this camera is over a year old, and you think I know where I put that manual for "safe keeping?" Ha!) Happily, the manual was right there, online. Directing me to another document. Something called: READ THIS FIRST. So I did another computer search, found the PDF of my camera's READ THIS FIRST, and voila! There it was. The macro setting. Right in front of my face every time I used the camera! In fact, it was a little symbol that I'd always wondered what it was. But did I ever try to find out? Of course not. I was too busy trying to figure out how to take closeups! No time for distractions. Gotta figure this out!
So I press the handy-dandy macro button, ran outside, and took the most beautiful closeups you could want. No kidding. Just by pressing one suddenly obvious button.
As I was looking at the pictures I'd taken, delighting in the detail, it hit me. How often do we do this with God? We have something we can't quite figure out, but forge ahead with our strategies, doing every we can think of to solve the puzzle. When all we need to do is go to the manual. To His Word.
Because He has the answers, we don't. Or at least I don't. And He knows what I need to understand. What's more, those times when I have finally turned to Him for guidance and help, He's shown me, as often as not, that the key was right there in front of me. But without His leading I didn't even what I was looking for.
All those years I wasted missing great shots just because I wanted to figure it out for myself. But I didn't even know the right language. Had no idea what I needed to know. So all that research I'd done before talking with folks in the know? Wasted time. And all those years I've tried to figure life out on my own? Worse than wasted.
Try downright foolish.
I set my camera down and bowed my head, asking God to imprint this moment on my heart. To remind me, next time I hit a puzzle, that I don't have to figure it out all by myself. Far better to go to the Creator, the One who wrote the Manual of Life. He knows the right language. And He's ready and waiting to teach it to me. And oh, if I'll listen, what beauty awaits! Beauty of understanding, and of peace because I'm resting in the One who has the answers. And the beauty of God's blessings. Like the things my self-focused, wasted efforts can never achieve.
Peace to you today.