Thursday, June 25, 2015
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Back in the 1990s, the United Nations announced the appointment of a new Secretary General. His name was Kofi Annan. He was a highly respected African diplomat. And as the spotlight shifted to this new Secretary General, well, the reporters wanted to learn more about his life, including what I found to be an enlightening story that he told from his childhood.
His teacher came into his class one day when he was a boy and hung this big, white piece of paper on the board with a little black dot on it. Then the teacher asked a simple question of his class, "What do you see?" Well, of course, they're all shouting, "The dot! The black dot!" That's when the teacher said, "Interesting that everyone saw the black dot. Didn't anybody see this big white sheet of paper?" The Secretary General of the UN said he never forgot that lesson from that day in times when he was negotiating in the world's hot spots. People were divided because they were stuck staring at a little dot.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Seeing The Bigger Thing God's Doing."
Don't let the little dot make you miss the big picture. That was the lesson that changed the outlook of a future world leader, and it may be the same lesson you need right now because we usually make mistakes when all we're looking at is the dot in front of us. It was actually the mistake that the psalmist was making in our word for today from the Word of God, Psalm 73, beginning at verse 2, "But as for me, my feet had almost slipped. I had nearly lost my foothold, for I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked."
See, the writer was looking at his own struggle and comparing it with the apparently easy lives of those who didn't care about God. And he was in a downward spiral emotionally and spiritually. He says, "Surely in vein have I kept my heart pure." Well, part of his frustration is that he really can't tell anyone his dark feelings, because it would hurt people. He says, "If I had said I would speak thus.." In other words, if he had told how he felt, "...I would have betrayed your children."
This man's really hurting, and maybe you can identify. But in verse 17 - a sudden, dramatic turn. He says, "It was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God." From that point on in the psalm, the psalmist is hopeful and victorious. He's celebrating a God who guides him, who's always with him, who's working on a big, perfect plan. He says, "Whom have I in heaven but you, and on earth there's nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart." This is Psalm 73. Read it for yourself.
We have just read the heart of one man who was sinking for one basic reason. He was focused on the dot of his present circumstances, and a man who finally found relief and found hope when he focused instead on the big picture of God and all God was doing in his life; which is the same choice you have right now.
When you're only looking at the dot right in front of you, you usually make mistakes. It distorts your perspective and you sink into worry or discouragement when you focus on that dot of just the current situation. You hurt those you love when you focus just on what they're doing right now instead of on the big picture of your whole relationship with them.
You will fall to temptation when you just focus on that sinful opportunity - that temptation. Satan is dangling this desirable, seemingly good thing in front of you and he's got you focused on that, and you've lost your focus on the big picture of what this will do to your whole life. Maybe God's asking you right now, "So what do you see?" Did you see the dot right in front of you? Well, then, you're probably going to get it wrong.
Would you let your Lord lift your eyes to the larger canvas on which today's dot is very small? It's the canvas of an all-powerful, all-loving Father, working in your life His unstoppable, eternal plan for you.