Thursday, August 1, 2013


People are sometimes criticized by being told, "You can't see the forest for (looking at) the trees. But I say, there would be no forest but for the trees. The splendor of the forest is made up of every detail of every tree. From the pattern of the bark, to the rings that tell how old the trees is and reveal that some have been standing there, in that very spot for decades or centuries. The trees hold leaves that sometimes start out as floral buds, which blossom in to full blown fragrant flowers and then transition into green leaves. These leaves later turn golden, orange, bright yellow fiery red or a few shades of purple. My overall appreciation of the forest as a whole is enriched by the most intricate details of the trees. Are you only interested in the forest?  Please excuse me while I step around you and move closer. You're blocking my view of these magnificent trees!

I have been criticized for, or accused of not looking at the "big picture" because I was "paying too much attention to details". I was told that my attention to details was nothing but a distraction and excuse for not looking at the big picture, and was causing my focus to be off. I say my attention to and acknowledgement of certain details, or additional details did not nullify anything previously known but rather it broadened my perspective and gave me more insight into the overall picture. This increased my appreciation for what what was happening right before my eyes, and showed me that more was going on that I originally believed or even knew! 

Every big picture is created a canvas full of details created by single strokes, made one after the other until the project is complete. The big picture contains many small details that make the whole what it is, and add meaning to the overall story being told. Colors fading into and blending with others. The different shades of blue in the sky. A few, many, or no clouds. The absence or presence of a rainbow. A shack in the distance. A light shining through a window. A dog lounging on the porch. A couple walking and holding hands. A bird perched on a tree branch or a pond next to the house.  All sorts of details come together to make up these big pictures, these masterpieces that people often stare at for long periods of time. Actually, a big picture void of details is simply and empty canvas. So you think that looking the details is a waste of time and a distraction?  Please move. You are blocking my view of the true big picture.

I enjoy details. I get excited about details. They remind me that there are many stories that contribute to a life story. They remind me of how precise God is and how intricately involved He is in every minute detail of my existence. Every detail of my personality, body shape and build, the width of my shoulders, the length of my legs, the shape of my lips and eyes, my high cheek bones, the shade of my skin, tone of my voice, and my gifts and abilities He imparted for me to use and impact the lives of others. Do you not care to enjoy the deeply personal involvement and interest that God has in your life? You will miss out on experiencing so much beauty in your relationship with Him. Yes there are times when forgetting the details of a thing will save you a lot of pain, extra tears shed or reopening of wounds. But when it comes to the handy work of God being revealed in our lives it would be tragic to overlook the details, because they make all the difference!

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