Thursday, January 07, 2010

Stained Glass Windows

The other day, I was sitting in my husband's truck near my church while he handled some business with an insurance company. It's funny how you look at a building differently when you show up on an odd day or see it from another spot. When my girls and I visited the church for the first time fifteen years ago, it was only a few buildings with several huge oak trees out front. A few years later, the main worship area was moved from a smaller building to a new giant sanctuary that holds like 1500+ people with oak trees nowhere nearby.

Anyway, I was sitting in the truck thinking about the old Sanctuary with its stained glass windows. They were so pretty. But I remembered how one window had a small piece missing. It use to bother me so much. At the time, I kept wondering what had happened and why it hadn't been repaired. Well, when they built the new, larger sanctuary, they had to destroy the stained glass windows. Too sad.

You're probably wondering why they didn't save the windows and use them in the new building. Others asked too. It appears it would've cost way too much money to take the windows out and preserve them. The money was better spent elsewhere.

So there I sat feeling sad about the small piece that was never replaced and the lost of such beautiful windows. Then I mentally slapped myself. Instead of regretting stained glass windows with holes in them, I needed to rejoice in the beautiful day. The blue sky God created is so much better than any stained glass window.

Moral of the story: When you concentrate on something small, it can become big. So concentrate on something bigger, then all else will appear small. :-)

16 comments:

Christine said...

I love this post. It's so true. Another biblical concept I find interesting is the "thorn in my side." It causes so much grief yet it can be removed by the person who has it. Often times, the small problems are merely thorns to pluck out of your life.

Tough lesson. Hard to do.

But there are those missing pieces that can't be replaced because the prices is too high. And then we have to shift our focus, or as I like to say, "the colander on my head." Suddenly, the world becomes a different and more interesting place.

I have to shift my colander a lot.

Gwen Hernandez said...

Well said, Carla.

Christine, I love the notion of the "colander on your head".

Callie James said...

Words to live by! Great blog, Carla.

Carla Swafford said...

Interesting, Christine. Colander, huh? LOL!

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Gwen and Callie.

Carla Swafford said...

Hey, Christine, I looked up "Thorn in my side" as I've heard it many times and knew it came from the bible. Actually, 2 Corinthians 12:7. Paul is asking God to remove the "thorn from my flesh" that Satan's messenger had placed there. God refused as he wanted Paul not to be conceited and knew through the pain Paul would be stronger in his faith. So whenever those thorns show up, realize first that you're doing something right for Satan to want you to stop doing it. And second that you will be stronger for it. :-) The Sunday School teacher in me is coming through. So I'll end this with an AMEN. :-)

Jeanie said...

Lovely post, Carla. When we hyperfocus, we miss the big picture, don't we?

Christine said...

Amen Carla... yeah, I did learn that once in my Disciple class... I'll have to polish up my bible reading skills again ;) Moving colander around my skull right now. LOL>

Carla Swafford said...

You're so right, Jeanie.

Louisa Cornell said...

Great post, Carla, and an important message for writers. We tend to obsess so many times about every little aspect of a story, those things that all of the writing "experts" say each story must have that we forget our primary function - to tell the story. Ultimately if you tell a great story in your voice nobody even thinks about all those little things. If they don't think about it why should you?

Carla Swafford said...

You got it on the nailhead, Louisa!

Nannette said...

Great post Carla. Reinforced my resolution for 2010 to focus on what is important!

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Nannette. :-)

JulieJohnstone said...

What a fantastic post, Carla. This had me thinking of lines or paragraphs in stories that I end up leaving out in rewrites. Sometimes I get so frustrated because I think what a waste of time! Now I think I will try and look at it as the creation of something more beautiful and special and hopefully entertaining. Thanks for this wonderful blog.

M.V.Freeman said...

Love that post Carla...
So true. We tend to blow the small things out of proportion instead of looking at the big picture.

Plus, those stained glass pictures are breathtaking.

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Julie and Mary.