Fixing our Focus, Part II
Looking through the viewfinder or at the screen on the back of your camera makes taking pictures fairly easy. You more or less get what you see through the viewfinder.
But have you ever seen a photographer trying to take a picture with the camera facing behind them? It even sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? You take pictures of what you can see, and you can't really see behind you. For a photo challenge where you take a picture a day for a month, the challenge was "hair". I tried and tried to take a picture of the back of my head. It was way harder than I thought it would be and this was the best I got. Yeah, it turned out to not really be focused behind me.
I suppose it’s possible to hold your camera backwards and take whatever kind of picture you get, but if you can’t see in the viewfinder, it’s awfully hard to find the focus. Paul reminds us to “forget what is behind”. Yes, there is a sense of remembrance, especially as the remembering brings to mind God’s goodness to us in the past. There is nothing wrong with memorial stones. But if we keep ruminating on how we hurt somebody, on how they hurt us, on all of our awful sins that Jesus has already forgiven, on how we were victimized, on how we have been dealt a bad lot, we will run off course just like a runner who keeps looking back runs out of his lane. We will trip and fall. We just can’t run well while looking back any more than a photographer can take a good picture holding his camera backwards.
Finally, a photographer can take a landscape picture or a picture of an event happening in a room. The photographer will use a broad focus, showing everything at once. The foreground, the background, and the central areas all have the same focus.
While that is easy enough to do in photography, seeing all of life in focus isn't something we can do right now. For now only God can see the whole picture and understand how it’s all working together. We need to trust him for our future. As we do, we will be focusing on Jesus and the end of the race. And someday the mystery will be fully revealed to us and we will no longer see as through a dark glass. It will all come into focus for us.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3