The snow has come and stayed in my part of the world. It is early, however I’m not surprised by sudden weather changes anymore. Having an adventurous temperament, the abrupt changes can even be satisfying. Even the dullness of a lingering grey sky can benefit me because it makes me search out places to brighten my day.
It’s this search for the light that led me to a conservatory of plants and flowers that were displayed in exhibits titled Tropical, Arid, and Temperate. I’d packed my older camera and macro filters I hadn’t used in a long time. The camera was light in my hand as I snapped pictures of water droplets, yellow and red rose petals, and thorns on cactuses. And I was happy with the lightness of the shots.
If familiar with photography, you know it’s all about the light–determining the light of the environment and setting up the camera to expose that light for the effect you desire.
It wasn’t until I’d reached the last exhibit that I noticed why my camera had been letting in so much light. It was set at 800 ISO! A little side lesson on photography–the higher the ISO number the more light BUT also the more noise. This means the pictures will have a grainy look. This grainy look may do well on outdoor night shots for example, but not on close-up flower shots that you generally want clear and sharp!
I hadn’t taken the time to check all the settings on my camera nor to check why the photos were light in an environment that generally takes more adjusting to get the right exposure.
Not very wise of me. Not very wise at all.
When I’d review the shot on my tiny camera screen, I’d assumed the light was okay without looking further into the details of what was really happening–too much noise was also getting into the picture.
And reflecting, it’s in more areas than photography where I’ve not noticed the noise in my life because I did not prepare and did not pay attention to the details.
For example, I’ve jumped into dating relationships before first getting to know the mens character, fixated on my light of hope to the point of compromising my own convictions. But the noises of incompatibilities eventually splintered the relationships.
In hindsight, and through all I’ve learned since then of God’s design for marriage, I know the hurts of those broken relationships may have been avoided if I wisely (and courageously) had taken the time to pay attention to the details by 1. spending more time getting to know one another before dating 2. being aware of feelings that can cloud compatibility issues and, 3. loving and respecting one another by always moving each other toward our relationship with God.
By doing these three steps, too, I’d be preparing a foundation for a marriage honouring God first, that exposes the light of His truths, and that brings focus to each of our gifts and how He wants us to use them–what I like to call a Kingdom Building Marriage.
Ideally this all sounds great and I’m yet (or maybe never) will live it out in a marriage relationship. And I know what I’ve proposed is quite counter-culture that even singles within the church (I’m quite sure as have witnessed it and been there) find it hard to stay out of the world noise that often tells of a different way to date.
But, like adjusting the camera’s ISO to create the clear picture we desire, we can set our minds and hearts on God’s light who always provides, protects, and brings us peace.
For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:10-11
My son, do not forget my teachings, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years, and bring you peace and prosperity. Proverbs 3:1-2
Your turn. Love to hear your thoughts (& learn more!) on God’s design for marriage. If married, are there ways you could help singles in your church toward godly dating and marriage?
(Note that the pictures in this post have been edited with a noise reduction feature in my software!)
Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at Inspiring Hope in You