Perspective: The Wisdom of the Wide-Angle Lens

At the Art Institute of Chicago, there’s a very large painting by Georges Seurat called A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.  The method of painting used by Seurat has been termed “pointillism” which involved horizontal brush strokes and dots of complementary colors to give the painting a full image when viewed from a distance, but when viewed up close, it resembles many dots.  

It’s actually the same concept carried forth as the visual display used in the first cathode ray television screens and today’s LCD computer screens and HD images. 

Focus upon a tiny fragment, it looks like meaningless dots like the backdrop of this devotional’s graphic.  Step back and gain perspective, the image emerges. 



It’s a picture of a dog! 



Step back further and now we see:  Ah! A dog is only one small part of the overall picture.



Perspective is the Wisdom of the Wide-Angle Lens.

If there is a danger in only witnessing a moment in time and thinking it represents the whole of time, there is an equal danger in focusing so much upon a detail or two that we miss the larger sweep of Scripture, the big idea.  Kind of like missing the forest for the trees.

In Matthew 24:3-44, Jesus answers the disciples’ question about how they’ll know the last days are upon us.  He points to signs (like individual dots) and expands our view wider and wider until the full picture is visible.

I believe we’re in such a time.  The birth pangs are all around us, seemingly unconnected, so it’s time to develop perspective and that wisdom of the wide-angle lens.  Yes, take in dot after dot, but observe the full sweep of what’s happening.  Jesus says, Matthew 24:42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

What about you?  Are you focused intently on individual dots of signs of the end times? Are you connecting the dots and making sure your life and decisions about faith are in order?  Are you taking note of our culture so you do not miss the bigger picture of the return of Christ?


Lord Jesus, You remind us to learn the lesson of the fig tree (Luke 21:29-36), to be careful and not so weighed down with details of worry and anxieties of life. Help us to focus on You and the larger sweep of Scripture so that we will not be surprised when Your return happens. Give us strength to persevere and the perspective to see the signs, to watch and pray, so we may be found standing firm in faith and be able to stand before You unashamed.  Amen.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on July 15, 2018

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply