Visual Verses #2
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
I found this verse while scanning the context of the passage in last Sunday’s sermon, and it has stuck with me all week. Almost immediately, I knew I wanted to share it here, so I’ve been reading the verse daily and trying to put it into practice. Since we all have struggles in trying keep our thoughts from being corrupted by the desires of this world, there is great value in strategies to keep on track that come directly from God’s word.
One thing I’ve noticed about the time I spend photographing God’s creation is that I never have to battle the inclination toward thoughts that are impure, unkind, or destructive in nature. It simply isn’t there when I am focused on seeing the beauty in the world. I believe that is precisely the point this verse is making. When we meditate on what is good, we protect ourselves from the temptations that often begin in our mind.
Now, if I only acted on this truth when there was a camera in my hand, I would be missing out on most of life’s opportunities. This past week, I’ve taken time almost every day, to study one of Juneau’s most lovely fall color displays from my classroom window. The cottonwoods that line the far bank of the Mendenhall River are quite a ways off, but I honestly don’t know if there is a better vantage from which to appreciate them than where I stand in the school. Taking even a few seconds to study the variation in density of remaining leaves or the yellow-orange colors has saved me countless times in a place where maintaining positive, God centered, thoughts is a considerable challenge.
The accompanying photo is from my ever growing “Craftsmanship” series. It is a horizontal stitch of three or four vertically oriented images made with a moderate telephoto focal length. The wall of ice visible in the completed panoramic represents a section that was roughly 8-10 feet high and 16-20 feet long. An image like this doesn’t necessarily grab your attention like a wide-angle photograph featuring fleeting and colorful light. Instead, it provides something to study. It gives me something “pure” and “lovely” to ponder for a long time, and I hope it does the same for you.