See the Big Picture


IMG_5692 Black Diamond hay mtnThere is something about this area on the Cowboy Trail in Southern Alberta that seems to catch my attention every time I drive through it. This photo was taken in the area between Longview and Black Diamond. So many times the sun burst through the clouds in a dramatic eye-catching display just as I approached Longview that one day I jokingly said to the Lord, “Are you saying something here?”  Immediately I got that “pay attention” feeling. Then it came to me -Longview -long view. Take the l-o-n-g view. See the big picture.

Sometimes we are so swamped in the dailiness of life it is difficult to see the big picture. Many of us, like so many high school and university students, still complain that we don’t see the point of learning a lesson that seems annoying and time consuming. “I want to be a film-maker. What good is algebra going to do me?”

When I was a child learning to play scales on the piano to the slave ship drumming of a metronome, I yelled at my mother that I saw no purpose to such a pointless exercise. I wanted to be a singer! I could see no possible application for this time-waster in my adult life. I knew even then I did not have the fine motor control it took to be a good pianist. Piano playing was not my gift. Too many accidental accidentals. It was utterly frustrating.

Eventually I became a singing teacher. I may have played a million scales and vocal exercises in my career. I never did develop good piano playing technique. I hired good accompanists for my students for exams and competitions, but in my studio I actually played the piano a lot more than piano teachers do.

Sometimes we go through lessons and testing that seems like a frustrating waste of time. I get the feeling the lesson I have been complaining about lately is a unit on perseverance and endurance. It’s not my favourite, but I hear the great teacher say, “Trust me. This will come in handy. I have a purpose in all this. Longview…long view…get it? See the big picture.”

 This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies:

“I am the First and the Last;

there is no other God.

Who is like me?

Let him step forward and prove to you his power.

Let him do as I have done since ancient times

when I established a people and explained its future.

 Do not tremble; do not be afraid.

Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago?

You are my witnesses—is there any other God?

No! There is no other Rock—not one!”

(Isaiah 44:6-8 NLT)

4 thoughts on “See the Big Picture

  1. Allan Halton

    A friend once told us a story of a pastor he knew who gave a great illustration of the importance of the “long view.” The pastor said that when he was a boy he was in a contest to win a new bicycle. All the contestants had to do was ride that bicycle the length of a two-by-four. The first to do so won the bicycle. Several children tried, keeping their eyes carefully on the two-by-four immediately in front of them. But one after the other, they eventually veered off the board. Then it was his turn. He mounted the bicycle, glued his eyes on the distant end of the two-by-four, rode it the full length, and then rode home on his brand new bicycle. …Selah.


  2. Wondering Celt

    Ha! I had to laugh as I read the paragraph about high school students complaining as my eldest ranted in the kitchen about having to go back into school after a doctors appointment!! Helping her to see the big picture this morning has not been a complete success but has helped me to persevere in it for her sake. Wonderful photographs, my friend, what an awesome state you live in. Carved by His hand as are we!


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