Weekly Devotion, September 21-25

Monday Devotion with Kim Wu

Why is it that people hesitate to just throw out or recycle a National Geographic magazine? How many of you grew up with a stack of those bright yellow spines lined up on a bookshelf in your home? Dewitt Jones, a photographer for the publication, suggests we hold onto them because the magazine celebrates what’s right with the world, rather than wallows in what’s wrong with it.

In a film and Ted Talk titled, “Celebrate What’s Good in the World”, Dewitt shares how working for National Geographic helped him understand how our vision controls our perception, and in turn our perception becomes our reality. If we believe there is good in the world, then we can see it. Our worldview shifts from one of scarcity and competition to one of abundance and possibility.

Dewitt encourages us to believe that with such a vision of possibility, no matter how hopeless a situation may seem, we can always find a different perspective, another right answer. He says we should look for what is right in every situation, and then we can connect with our passion and find the energy to fix what is wrong. Michelangelo, speaking of the large pieces of stone he used for his sculpture, said “I saw an angel in the stone and carved to set it free.” His vision and passion transformed the ordinary stone into something extraordinary.

Our world has been changing, and with that change comes a sense of loss and uncertainty. The change curve, developed by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, depicts the five stages of grief people go through when they experience loss, but also applies to how people frequently relate to other types of change. Using Dewitt’s vision, this change curve that can fill us with fear can become a possibility curve, if we can reframe the obstacles into opportunities.

We can live in this precarious world, but act with confidence. 2020 just keeps getting harder and harder, but God beckons us to see all that is good in the world He created. All the good in His image-bearers among us. To look at all things through the lens of Christ. Through the lens of Christ on the cross for all of us.

I admit I am struggling these days. Struggling to see good over the bad. Struggling in the heat of the moment to remember all others are beloved and created in the image of God. To help me work on this, I will be reading and participating in the discussion of the book “Holy Disunity”, as part of our Journey program this fall. The author encourages us to see differences as gifts, as opportunities to expand our understanding of who God is, and how each of our unique experiences and qualities can help us understand the world in new ways. I know something needs to change in me to better see God in all this, and I think this will be a good start.

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