Last weekend I had a day of photography. I took shots for finals netball and basketball games. My lens can zoom far closer than a mobile phone, and it captures the detail of players in action. The lens is great for zooming into distant objects, it is not for up close and wide shots. To take a team group shot I must stand three times the distance away compared to the mobile phone camera. Or I change the lens to stand closer and have a wider perspective.
We need to know when to change our lens on life. Most often we are zoomed in. We see the detail of today’s action; we feel the immediate burdens. That matters as the urgent and important should be attended to, now. But we also must zoom out to get perspective. What else should be in the shot? What we might be missing?
How do you zoom out? How often do you sit back to gain perspective on your life? I have three key practices which help. I know I need to build in more. First, I have a mentor I meet monthly to help me reflect on what is happening within me and to me. Second, I take a retreat twice yearly with a group of six men who intentionally share what is happening in their lives and pray for one another. Third, I take an intentional block of time, a few times a year, to prayerfully reflect on how ministry and life are tracking.
Take time to gain perspective. If you are parents, reflect on the longer trajectory of your parenting and children’s lives. As a student, professional or business owner, how will you continue to see growth? As a retiree, how will your time bring joy and be invested into others? As a Christian, where should your efforts be focussed to faithfully follow Jesus?