(Kingsport Times news, 11/23/13)
I was starting the grill tonight (I use what’s called a “chimney coal starter”) and I almost burned this clipping (yes, I have old newspapers in a bin for this). I’m not sure how I missed this little gem. Preachers live for sermon illustrations like this clipping. We open newspapers, scouring them for such pieces as this!
Look again at the clipping. When Kennedy was assassinated, the “big” news of the morning here in Kingsport was a new leader at Eastman. Is a transition in leadership important? Having been close friends for several years with the recently retired CEO of Eastman and living in this town whose economy is tied closely to Eastman’s successes, I can tell you it is a big deal in this town. But, it’s not that big enough of a deal to overshadow the real news of the day.
This clip reminds we can let the insignificant overshadow what’s really important when we lose our focus. This newspaper clip illustrates how an inward-narrow focus can blind us to bigger things outside our immediate realm.
Are you going through a painful separation of sorts, losing your job, grieving the loss of a loved one? God has a way of using painful times to shape us — it’s not that He caused the pain, but He sure can use it to mould us (Think Joseph, Gen 50:15-21)
I’m not saying your pain isn’t real, or isn’t valid, I am saying, typically there’s more to the picture than meets the eye. It’s hard, nearly impossible, to see past the pain, but that’s where faith & hope come in.
I Cor 13:12-13, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
II Cor 4:16-18, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
II Cor 5:7, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Pray for eyes to see eternal/consequential realities and for guidance to walk life’s path when the lines get blurred.