Friday, May 22, 2009

LIfe Happens

It's a journey we hear. It's not the destination but the journey that matters. Really.


As I took off to find a new spot (for me) to shoot spring wildflowers in the rain (or at the very least, a good overcast sky,) I was suddenly stricken with an overwhelming sense of dread. "Don't go there," said that still small voice within.

Now we can speculate until the end of time about that voice. We all hear it. I don't know what yours sounds like. Mine sounds very much like my own voice, but with a softness to it that doesn't sound like me at all. It has a genteel quality that I lack. There is a smoothness to it, a confidence, a buttery richness that isn't me at all. And yet it is. So where does it come from? Who speaks? Why?
Ah, those deep questions of faith.

Because this is my blog and I can write whatever I want, I'm going to share my view about the voice from within. You don't have to agree. It's just what I believe. I call it the Holy Spirit. Anyone who's a Christian will get this. Those lacking Christian faith will not get it the way I mean it, so this requires some explanation on my part.

A Christian believes what Jesus said when He was here on earth. He told us three things (among lots of others.) Three that are specifically pertinent to this message. One, He said He is God. Whoa, that's powerful. But it's a fact, He said it. If you want to know when and where, get your hands on a Bible and read John 8:57-59, 10:30-33, 12:44-46 and most critical of all, John 14:6-9. So that's first. I believe Jesus is God. This is important because why else would I believe anything else He ever said?

Next, He said when He left earth He would send us a counselor to take His place (John 14:16.) He was referring to the Holy Spirit.

The third thing is that the Holy Spirit's purpose is to guide and direct according to truth (John 16:13.) This is absolutely key for me because I sure don't want to put my faith in a lie, or the dream of some confused fourteen year old, or the musings of a guru on a Himalayan peak. Whatever I put my faith in, there has to be strong history and archeology to back it up. The Bible works for me. It is tested historical documentation with abundant archeological proof.

So when I'm driving down the road and I get an overwhelming sense that I'm not supposed to do what I'm about to do, I sit up and take notice. I believe God is speaking directly to me through the Holy Spirit. Yesterday, I decided to change my plans.

Suppose I hadn't? Had I gone ahead to Green Mountain, what would have happened? I don't know. Maybe an accident was ahead of me. Perhaps I might have hit something in the road that would have caused a blowout. Or it might not have been anything that was going to happen but rather a divine appointment I was supposed to have that I'd have missed if I had gone on. I had a number of encounters in my journey yesterday that wouldn't have occurred had I gone to Green Mountain. Whatever the case, I learned some valuable lessons, grew spiritually in my discussion with Steve about it, and all this because of that still small voice.

So what does that have to do with photography? In my world, everything. You see, everything I do is intricately connected with God's plans for my life: the images I capture, the words I write, the people I meet along the way.

So, you want to hear something really funny? I'm a nature lover. I spend a lot of time outdoors, tromping through the woods in search of the perfect image. Despite this, I've never recognized poison ivy. Friends have told me absolute horror stories about this stuff. Perhaps you've heard the cute little sayings, "leaves of three, leave it be," or "rosy leaves of three are a danger to thee." I've seen many plants that fit the descriptions, always steering clear, but have never known for sure if any of them were actually poison ivy.
On my diversion trip along a lakeside at South Platte Park yesterday, I overheard some workers talking, one of them warning against a patch of poison ivy. So I wandered over and asked her to show me. Naturally, I snapped a picture for future reference. It looks so harmless. Even lovely. Ever seen poison ivy? Now you have. The slightly shiney red tinged leaves are the offender.

I don't think the Holy Spirit changed my plans just so I could get a glimpse of poison ivy. The point is, it's good to pay attention to signals. We do have an innate sense of things if we pay attention. Human beings are a complex creation and we have been given amazing abilities. There are some things that can only be seen with the soul.

May your focus today be on what matters most, eternal matters.

Lock, load, shoot. There is so much beauty to capture!

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