Remembering Sports Scenes
If you enjoy watching sports, you can probably remember a scene or a picture that sticks out in your mind because it represented a moment of victory or outstanding performance. Having grown up only a few miles from Madison Wisconsin, it was very significant to me that Eric Heiden was also from Madison Wisconsin and went on to win five gold medals in Speed Skating during the 1980 Winter Olympics. This being so, I can still see the picture in Sports Illustrated within my mind, where Eric Heiden was coming around a turn on the speed skating track while heading for another Olympic victory. Of course the scenes and pictures of this were celebrated all over the world while commentators and writers made frequent references to his great accomplishment.
There are other sports pictures that stand out in my mind as well. I can remember Michael Jordan in one of his last second game winning shots to clinch an NBA championship, and Allyson Felix winning three gold medals as a sprinter in the 2012 Summer Olympics. All of these things created a buzz in the news media and in household conversation.
In my late teenage years and early twenties, I had subscriptions to Muscle and Fitness and Runners World. Of course the magazines were full of pictures of great bodybuilders and runners doing their workouts. The pictures were designed to capture a moment that would inspire viewers and they were often accompanied by articles that were carefully worded to stir you into achieving a greater level of fitness in your own workouts. For those who love sports and fitness, the availability of various pictures, commentaries, and articles can be found in even greater abundance in current times with the internet.
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
There is a saying that a, “Picture is worth a thousand words.” There’s also another saying that, “Words can paint a thousand pictures.” Words and pictures form impressions in our mind so that we relate to an idea or an event in a certain way. Sometimes words and pictures cause us to relate to something in a positive way, and sometimes they cause us to relate to an event in a negative way.
How do we See God, Ourselves and the World?
We have the Word of God as a source for how we are to relate to God. God uses his Word to show us the truth about how to think, and to help us see God, the world, ourselves, and others from God’s accurate point of view. God wants us to picture Him and to picture life in a way that reveals the truth about Him, and the truth about how He can work in our lives.
True Pictures vs. Distorted Pictures
Unfortunately there is also a devil. The devil would like to override God’s view point and create pictures, words, and ideas that are the opposite of the truth. The devil attempts to create circumstances and then use those circumstances as a paint brush to paint distorted view-points of God and His truths. If the devil can get us to think on experiences that create these pictures and false ideas, it creates wrong attitudes that are then used to create even more wrong mental pictures, which causes us to focus on the wrong things. Our media often helps in this negative process. The news is full of disasters, crimes and all kinds of junk that can shift us over into seeing life with a negative mindset if we are not careful in regard to how we think about what we are seeing and hearing.
At the same time, you may have noticed that there are people who are very positive about life. These people are looking for the good in others, the good in their surrounding environment, the good in life, and the good that can be accomplished if the choice is made to do so. With their thoughts, words, and actions, they are continually painting a picture of life that is the kind of picture that we would like to walk into.
Allowing the Right Pictures to Form in Your Mind
All of this being said, how do you picture God? Why do you see Him the way you do? Do you see God as being the same today, yesterday, and forever? Is the Jesus who walked the earth while doing the works that He did on earth, the same Jesus who can work in our lives the same way today, or has the paint brush of circumstances painted over the loving, healing, miracle working power of Jesus, and put a different picture in your mind? Have you let the talk and the teaching of others, whether well-meaning or not, distort what you read in the Bible? Are we letting our own experiences and the experiences of others interpret who God is and what He is like, or can we just let the Bible speak for itself without any interference from our own thinking, others thinking, or meditating on circumstances that seem contrary to the promises of God’s Word? These are the same circumstances that God wants to cast his light on and use his Word to paint an accurate picture of his life altering redemptive power into our hearts until we are moved with the kind of faith and prayers that bring the true picture of God’s intent where his kingdom manifests on earth as it is in heaven. Do you see light and life when you see God, or does darkness and heaviness start to creep in when you think about God? Light will energize you and bring life into your being as you know that God is for you and not against you. Darkness will keep you down and bring heaviness and weariness to your soul. Get rid of the dark view of God and start seeing Him in the light.
Photographers and story tellers use words and pictures to form impressions and help you relive an event, but another photographer and story teller can come along and take a different set of pictures and words, and retell the story so that it comes out in a very different way. Who’s pictures and words are you listening to when it comes to God? If God gets to tell His own story, what are the parts of His story that He thinks will help you come away with the most accurate picture of Him? What are the snapshots in History that He has given to us to communicate the way that He really is? We have the Bible to show us this of course. Can we not let the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Moses, Gideon, Sampson, Ruth, Esther, David, Elijah, Jesus and the disciples, be our God? These are the people that God pointed to in history and said, “If you want to see a picture of me the way I really am, these are the people that get it. They see me the way I am and you can learn to see me as they see me.” Is this your God, or have you traded him in for a different version when it comes to the way He works in your life and circumstances today? Daily renew your mind by seeing God in the light of the glory of the true gospel of God.