Eleven years ago, I used my Christmas money to buy a 35mm Canon Rebel. Most of my friends, including my boyfriend at the time, asked for digital cameras that year. There was just something about the digital camera that turned me off and sent me toward the 35mm camera. I loved the way the SLR camera let me focus on details that the cheap point and click cameras missed entirely.
Four years later, I tucked it away and asked for a digital camera for Christmas. It was a little better than the point and shoots of my childhood and teen years, but still didn't have the focus I sought after. We upgraded to an attached lens DSLR when we got married, but by our fifth anniversary, the camera was in sad shape. Our images weren't coming out clear and focused like we expected. I began searching for a DSLR in our budget, but I kept coming back to the D-Rebel. It was my dream camera. It would be everything my 35mm Rebel had been ten years earlier! If only I could afford it...
Five days after Hudson was born, a huge package arrived addressed to me. It was from Focus Photography. My push present from Trevor was my D-Rebel and a deluxe kit to set me up to take amazing photos of our family. I was so excited!
I played with it a bit and grew frustrated. It wasn't giving me the clear focus I desired, no matter what I did. I secretly hated the camera and felt guilty Trevor bought it for me...until this week.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was interested in film photography. I offered my 35mm Rebel to her, then dug it out. When I put it on the counter, I noticed that the lens had a macro focus. I compared it to the D-Rebel. There was no macro focus on the new camera. The problem hadn't been the camera! It had been the lens all along. Suddenly, I had my word for 2016.
How often do we look at life through the wrong lens? How often do we use a lens that prohibits us from focusing on the right detail, that keeps us from enjoying the small things? I know I've been using the wrong lens lately. I've been focusing on the wrong details - if I have had any focus at all. I'm not going to spend 2016 in survival mode. I'm going to focus on my self, my health, my family, and my faith. I'm not going to lose focus on what matters this year. I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure I'm using the right lens.
When I settled on my word earlier today, I typed it into the YouVersion Bible app and read through several verses that contained the word "focus." It didn't take long to settle on a life verse for 2016.