“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?” 1 Corinthians 2:16 (KJV)
We live in the Visual Age. If we can’t take a picture or a video of it, it’s like it doesn’t exist or never happened. Cell phone cameras have sent picture-taking to the stratosphere in the last few years. Experts estimate that over one trillion photos will be taken this year, dwarfing previous records set by old technologies of Polaroid and plastic film. New uses of pictures feature “selfies,” composite photography, and identification photos that can scan crowds of people and pick out faces. Video clips have brought giant corporations like United Airlines and American Airlines to their knees. It is not unusual for people to store ten to fifteen thousand pictures on their phones. Many upload their pictures to the internet where thousands more view them. The new phrase is “it’s gone viral!” One still picture has been viewed more than a billion times!
In recent years, genius minds started to speculate about what they could do with the countless images orbiting in the cyber universe. One group programmed an internet robot to cull millions of pictures of Notre Dame cathedral from cyberspace and compiled them into an incredibly detailed rendition of the famed edifice. No tourist or architect could photograph the whole building, but, when combined with thousands of others, the results were stunning.
We often complain about spiritually myopic people who so are obsessed with their own lives that they can’t see the big picture. The truth is that all of us suffer from the same condition. Some may see a little more than others, and some may have a different perspective, but none of us can grasp the picture that God sees. No one knows the mind of the Lord, and we surely can’t teach Him anything. (1 Corinthians 2:16). All of us see life through our own lens. The zoom, wide-angle and pixel capabilities may vary from person to person, but we still operate within our personal limitations.
So, here is the concept that every one of us must understand. The big picture is made up of millions of little snapshots taken by people like you and me, and compiled into one overarching view. The redeeming quality about each individual view is that when we join it with that of a brother or a sister, we inch our way closer to the big picture. Never get discouraged by feeling that you are insignificant. Never discount the contribution you are making to the whole. “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” 1 Corinthians 12:20-22 (NKJV). An independent, arrogant spirit not only exalts self, but it also minimizes the work that others do. It is a huge mistake to pull away from the body and become isolated. Such people often think they see the big picture, but they only see life from a restricted view.
All of us have seen famous pictures, like the World Trade Center on fire, or the marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima, or the legendary kiss of a sailor and a nurse when we won World War II. One picture can impact a nation or a generation. Saint of God, Sunday School teacher, praise team member, choir member, usher, greeter, home Bible study teacher, van driver, prison chaplain, tithe-payer, custodian—whatever you do, keep snapping your individual pictures. Leave the rating up to God. He alone will judge where to put your picture. Fifteen times, the Apostle Paul uses the word “salute” in the sixteenth chapter of Romans. Most of those salutations were for people unknown to us, but they were not insignificant. They must have been extremely valuable to the success of the early church. One of these days, all the pictures will be compiled into one, grand picture! The only way to be a part of the big picture is to take your own little picture. It may register as a much bigger picture than you could have ever imagined!