Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
I must admit that I am horrible at taking photos of my own life. I have to tell myself to do it. It isn’t that I don’t want to, it simply feel like I am working when I have to carry around a heavy SLR; this is one of the many reasons I am beginning to convince myself I need an iPhone or a small digital SLR. However, when I do take the time and invest in photographing my children I don’t regret it, but at the moment there are so many more important things I would rather be doing and not have to worry about clearing a compact flash card or editing the images Lightroom. Maybe this is the downfall of the digital era. I am reminded of the phrase “quality over quantity” – does one well-composed photograph equate to 100 not so incredible iPhone photos? Looking through old albums after my wife’s grandmother passed away made me realize how incredible talented photographers were fifty plus years ago. They shot film and there was cohesion within the industry so my grandmother’s photos looked like my wife’s grandmother’s photos and I find that similarity refreshing and uncommon by today’s standards. I don’t think fifty years from now we are going to have that and maybe that is ok? Our children are young, but I still look back only three or so years ago and think about how much life has changed and how incredibly fortunate I am to have these moments photographed.
Everyday is filled with distractions that are pulling us away from time with God. I am so incredibly guilty of this. I ask myself, “What is the reason I get out of bed in the morning?” Is it to spend time with God, check Facebook, or immediately start my work day without so much as a second thought about how blessed I am to be given each day. I am blessed because of him and every gift is from above, yet I forget. I pause.
I want what I do to point to Jesus not pull me away from him and the life he intends for us all. I must continue to ask God to guide me down the path he has chosen for me and die to the rest – my wants, my needs, my life! This week’s sporadic ‘free’ moments have been spent reading “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. I have never been so convicted and emotionally torn over what he has to say about God’s love and our inability to full grasp all he has done for us. Do I love Jesus or do I love what he has done for me? Do I love my children the way God loves me? Am I a child who runs to Jesus like my children run to me? The honest answer to those questions has me begging for his mercy and asking his forgiveness.
The truth is love is sacrifice and it is a decision not a feeling that comes and goes. As a wedding photographer, I hear this word a lot and rarely is it used the way it is meant to. The world has become associated with a fleeting moment that comes and goes with the wind, but God’s love is never changing and does not change like the shifting shadows (James 1:17). God is perfect and his cohesion throughout all creation deserves our complete praise – our all.
My children, my wife, my business, my life, – none of it is truly mine. Photographs remind me that we are vapor. Photographs capture light and God is the perfect creator of that light. As a photographer, I want what we do to mean something, to tell a story, but can we really take any credit? I did so very little, yet I receive praise; – the subject – the landscape – the camera –the lens- none of it is my creation. If I take my glasses off I am nearly blind. A nearly blind person who captures life – that is a miracle in and of itself. I can’t help put praise God and be humbled by the immensity of his Grace for us. I am so underserving of his goodness. The moments that he allows me to capture draw me closer to him in that they remind me of how incredibly blessed I am to be alive and taking in his perfect light. As the days change before my eyes, I know that God does not change with the shadows, but is eternal and his love never fails.