"Time's almost up!"
I stared at the pages harder, but nothing. Maybe it was too early, maybe I hadn't had enough coffee, maybe the room was too warm and cozy... but my eyes just glazed over.
Our journalism TA had handed us several pages of numbers as soon as we sat down. It was a business report, columns of numbers that told a story. A story I couldn't decode or decipher. Now time was almost up and most of my classmates were frantically clacking out their news stories on their keyboards around me.
I finally just sat back for the last 30 seconds and tried to put something together quickly, hoping I wouldn't be called on first.
A journalist is only as good as his story, I was told. You need to be able to look at a situation and see the story that others are missing.
I've never been good at finding the story. Not in journalism class, not in life. I get blinded by the details and the numbers. I get blinded by my current circumstances. I can't see beyond what I'm going through here, in this moment.
Just like journalists, we as Christians, are called to be big-story people. And just like students in a journalism class, it takes practice. We're not just called to look for a big picture, but we're called to strain for the big picture.
And we're not just doing it to prove we can, but we're looking for it to survive. Because that's what we cling to for hope as Christians, that this moment, this world, this life is not our final destination. It was never intended to be, we were created for the bigger picture. Our souls feel the weight of their eternity every day, which is why moments sometimes feel like they will last forever. They won't, but we will.
We're not just doing it to prove we can, but we're looking for it to survive.
So maybe today is painful. Or maybe it's even joyful! Whatever the circumstance, be brave enough to zoom out. To refocus and see the tapestry from afar. Find the courage to let go of the moment, and practice looking for the big picture. The real story in it all.
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18