While my family and I were in East Tennessee for Polishing the Pulpit we had a chance to do some fun vacation type activities. We had the opportunity to go to Gatlinburg and enjoy some to the tourist attractions. One of those attractions we enjoyed was the tram that transports people from downtown Gatlinburg to Ober Gatlinburg where there are some shops and an ice skating rink.

On the trip up the view was amazing. We wanted to take some pictures but was having problems doing so. It was raining and water droplets were adhering to the window of the tram. Our modern equipment had a little trouble figuring out on what to focus. When we tried to take a picture of the wonderful scenery our cameras were trying to focus on the water droplets on the window and not the beautiful background. I also noticed that this was not a problem when we were close to something very prominent like one of the houses along the tramway. When we were close the houses that are along the tramway our cameras easily focused past the raindrops and brought into clarity the object of beauty we were trying to capture.

I realized this was a very good illustration of Paul’s words about on what we are to think. Paul wrote: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). The aforementioned words of Paul are written by him from a jail cell. Paul could have been so very depressed and negative because of his situation. Instead, he focused on the bigger picture. He focused on his liberation whether from prison or this life in general (Philippians 1:19-25).

We, well, I, tend to do the same thing as our cameras were doing on the tram ride. We don’t focus on the prominent beauty that is afar off. Instead, we focus on the raindrops immediately in front of us. Our lives would be so much better, have so much more meaning, be so much more fulfilled if we could always and in every situation focus on the big picture.

We have a promise of eternal life though Jesus the Christ (1 John 2:25). It is when we get out of focus and become double eyed, the opposite of single eyed, that our bodies and lives become full of darkness (Mathew 6:22-24). The best way to make sure we stay single eyed is to remain close to God (James 4:8). In this way we will not be trying to serve two masters and we will be able to focus on our eternal life and will be able to say with confidence that our persecution and trials on this earth are a joy because they perfect us getting us closer to the end goal (James 1:2-4). In short, our lives will have meaning.

I pray that these thoughts have been beneficial to you. I pray that we can live a life closer to God focusing on Him instead of the little raindrops that impede our vision along life’s journey.

Tony Brewer