Looking beyond mere snapshots

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Looking beyond mere snapshots

Postby leejosepho » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:32 pm

I just received this in an e-mail and enjoyed it greatly.

Some time back I experienced the work of a visual artist using time-lapse cinematography of landscapes, weather patterns, and the heavens. The artist had captured common natural events as snapshots, and had then stunningly combined them as visual chronicles...morning sunlight chasing shadows down a canyon wall...the interplay of storm clouds and stabbing rays of light over a lake...the wheeling of the Milky Way above an expanse of desert...fog rolling in like a refreshing wave of water.

Many such natural events surround us, yet we are often oblivious to the incremental changes because our minds do not operate like one of these cameras. It takes something beyond our natural abilities to see gradual variations and progressions of even the natural world. We are not equipped to capture how light, shadow, and weather patterns change throughout the day. Instead, we only capture snapshots — moments that may be intense but which can also soon fade away.

This effect has a parallel in our spiritual awareness, change and growth. We can recall moments and experiences of our pasts, the events of today and we can see images of where we hope to end up in days ahead if we hold to a right course...but we are not equipped to see the subleties of changes as they happen. We often lose sight of the broad sweep of what God is doing both within us and for us. It is easy enough to view ourselves as we are now, our present circumstances and how things appear from our present perspective, but we do not always have the capacity to see how these snapshots fit the overall evidence of God's work in our lives and what the future might actually hold.

Sometimes a snapshot is particularly dismal and seemingly hopeless. Just as any number of the tens-of-thousands of individual pictures in the artist's work could be ordinary, uninspiring, or even depressing, so also might we be momentarily focusing upon a snapshot of our lives that is not what we would like to see, neither in terms of spiritual growth nor of physical circumstance...and yet a single picture is but a moment during the broad sweep from history to what yet lies ahead. The fantastic work God is doing in our lives can be indiscernible through a single snapshot — there is simply too much in the past and in a future we have yet to see at all to either cling to or discard any single picture taken along the way.

(edited for length)
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
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