Cast your cameras

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My 5D Mark II broke while second-shooting a wedding this past spring.

After months of saving for what I assumed would be costly repairs, mustering the ambition to figure out how to begin the process, and preparing myself for a verdict that said it was officially kaputs, I packed up my dear camera and made my way to FedEx.

It turned out the verdict wasn't too bad at all. For whatever reason, something small was off mechanically, causing the whole camera to go haywire. For a five-day wait and $234, I was able to come home one day to find a big sturdy box containing my perfectly working, freshly cleaned electronic child.

This is technically the end of a sweet story that'll make you hold your cameras close.

But what if?
What if, shortly after leaving the FedEx parking lot, I turned around, re-parked the car, and demanded the clerk relinquish what I'd handed her only a moment before? Maybe I resorted to chasing down a delivery truck. Determination could turn to desperation, you know, and the whole scenario could quickly start to resemble something out of a Madea movie, as you watch the police chase me down the 101 on the news. Or maybe I never got aggressive, but just called Canon while it was in the process of being fixed and told them to ship it back immediately--that I decided it was better off in my care. Sure, it'd be broken and effectively useless; but at least I wouldn't have to worry that it'd get lost in transit, or bear the news of what it would cost to fix it, or well, I could go on. Reasons for avoiding the unknown are innumerable.

The reason why I paint the picture of this ridiculous scenario is because I think it's often what we do with God. We give him something--some area or relationship or aspect of our lives that's in disrepair--and we relax in faith, trusting that he'll notify us when it's restored.

...OH wait no, that's only how it's supposed to work. Because if you're anything like me, you hand something over to God and walk away feeling satisified that you only offered him a few reminders on what your expectations are, and provided only a few specific instructions for its care.

But somewhere, not too far down the line, you look at your hands and realize you're holding it again. It's as though we experience spiritual blackouts where we don't remember deliberately doing it, but after acknowledging something as broken and giving it over to God, we turn around and snatch it back out of his hands again.

And this is where it's important to remember that God is a gentleman. He's not going to play tug-of-war; he could've simply denied us the freedom of will in the first place if he was going to operate like that. He sees us in our moments of black-out mode, where we pace and mutter our way back to his feet to reclaim what we were wise in deciding needed to be left there. Deeming our past wisdom as present insanity, we stride towards him once more with arms outstretched to snatch it all back. And snatch we do.

Around the time my camera was being repaired, I realized that God can only work on issues in our lives if they're in his hands. It took several more months after that realization, but I finally abandoned my own something-or-other there.

Not without tears. But also not without the deepest sense of peace and relief that I could never fake and have ever known.

Cast your "cameras" on him, folks. There's no one more trustworthy. I promise holding onto them isn't worth what you'll get in exchange--and that they'll be in far better hands than mine or yours.

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