THE BIG PICTURE
The Love Perspective: Nose Art
By Todd & Jedd Hafer
Here’s something fun to do next time you’re
in an art museum. Okay, we know what some of you are saying: There
will be no “next time” you’re in an art museum.
In fact, there won’t be a first time. But don’t be
too quick to say that. You might be walking around in a city someday
and get lost and be forced to pop into a museum to ask for directions.
Or you might be right outside the doors to a museum when a sudden
hailstorm hits—and you’ll have nowhere else to go.
And, of course, some of you reading this actually might like
museums and visit them frequently.
Whatever the case, here’s your museum assignment: Find
a large painting and stand as close to it as those burly museum
guards will allow. Get your nose millimeters from the canvas if
you can. Then stare really hard at the painting.
What you’ll see, most likely, is an unintelligible mass
of paint globs and brushstrokes. From this vantage point, you
can’t tell what the painting is supposed to represent. In
fact, if you didn’t know what you were looking at, you might
not even be able to tell it’s supposed to be a painting.
It might look like a clown blew up—or threw up—on
a slab of canvas.
To understand what the painting is about, of course, you have
to take a few steps back. You have to take in the whole thing
to see what the artist was trying to achieve. You must have perspective
before things make sense.
You know where we are going with this analogy, don’t you?
That’s right, our friend, art imitates life, and life is
all about perspective.
Our first chapter is about perspective, because perspective will
set the tone for this book, and your life. It will determine how
you perceive what happens around you and to you. It will determine
how you react.
We are convinced that so many of teens’ life tragedies—from
suicide to sexual promiscuity to running away from home—happen
because teens and the adults around them lose their sense of perspective.
We don’t want this to happen to you.
We’re about to hit you with a key truth that will be vital
to keeping your life in perspective, no matter what happens. It’s
a deep, profound truth, so you might want to write it down so
you won’t forget it. Here goes: Jesus loves you, this we
know, for the Bible tells us so.
Pretty cool, huh? Somebody ought to turn that into a song or
And please don’t dismiss those words just because they
rhyme and you maybe heard them in Sunday school. Don’t say,
“Sunday school Jesus is just for little kids. He is not
relevant to life in the twenty-first century.”
Wrong. Jesus isn’t just for Sunday school. He is By-Your-Side-on-the-Way-to-the-Crisis-Pregnancy-Center
Jesus. He is Holding-Your-Hand-While-You-Clutch-the-Bottle-of-Pills-That-Could-End-Your-Life
The Bible promises you that nothing—NOTHING—can separate
you from Jesus’ love. Addicted to pornography? Jesus still
loves you. Gay? Jesus still loves you. A habitual liar too terrified
to let anyone see the real you? Jesus sees the real you and loves
you like crazy.
Everything else you will read in this book—more important,
everything you encounter in life—should be evaluated with
a clear sense of perspective.
Right now your nose might be pressed up against an ugly mishmash
of colors and textures that make no sense—and are frightening,
to boot. But take a few steps back. You are a work of art. Ephesians
2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created
in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance
for us to do.”
Your life is in the hands of a Master Artist. He has a purpose
for your life. Don’t ever forget that. Trust in him. Watch
as he reveals to you more and more of the Big Picture masterpiece
that he wants your life to be. And as you see portions of the
painting come together, hold on to that knowledge when you encounter
a new section of the canvas of your life—a section that
is murky and unfinished, or empty. So empty that it’s scary.
Perspective will revolutionize the way you live. So take two
giant steps back and use it.
It’s hard to see the Big Picture when your nose is pressed
up against it. Actions you take (and decisions you make) in the
darkness of confusion and despair will likely be mistakes. So
don’t act, don’t conclude, don’t decide until
you’ve seen things in the light of God’s love. Because
only in that light can you see clearly.
Every time you are depressed or face a crisis in your life,
before you respond, please go through this exercise. Consider
these words from Isaiah 54:10: “‘Though the mountains
be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for
you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
Say this verse out loud, then ask yourself, “In light of
the fact that I am adored unconditionally by my Lord, Friend,
and Creator, how should I respond to what is happening in my life
More excerpts from this book:
Here by Chance?
Not a Chance!
Excerpted from: Wake Up
and Smell the Pizza
by Todd & Jedd Hafer
Copyright © 2005 ; ISBN 076420033X. Published by Bethany
House Publishers. Used by permission.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.