Let Him build your cairn
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Often when we look back on our story, we tend to focus on disappointments myopically. Tragedy, pain, frustrations, and disappointments weave through our story. Unfortunately, we lose focus on what God is doing and has been doing—the individual threads of our story. Because, if we only look to those cairns associated with what we perceive as adverse events as our existence’s total sum, our focus becomes skewed. In short, the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes raised similar points regarding the perspective of life and experiences, and how it affects our perception of the bigger picture. We internally repeat words identical to the oft-quoted Teacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes. “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly Meaningless: Everything is meaningless.” (Eccl. 12:9-14)
In the study of Art, there is a technique called Pointillism. Pointillism, developed by George Seurat, used tiny dots of various pure colors unblended. The painting, viewed up close, appears to be canvas full of colorful dots, but once the viewer creates distance, your eyes blend the colors and complete the image. We then see the whole picture displayed on the canvas.
Don’t we, like the Disciples who followed Jesus, fall into the trap of seeing only the tiny dots of misfortune and miss the bigger picture of what He is doing? When we focus heavily on our story’s cairns, we miss the broader view of God’s work in our lives. If we focus only on negative cairns—mental markers—we miss all others. If we step back and look at the broader picture through the promises of God’s Word, what may appear as defeat, examined under His light, and placed into God’s hands, transforms. Our minds blend His activity, given the broader picture, resonates His victory.
We must recognize that we lack the power to change anyone, including ourselves because we can not correct the root issue. But God can. Change is His job, and He is fantastic at it. He uses our story to change us and to reach others. When we accept Christ, He begins the work of gently leading us to release those things that hold us back. Issues like forgiveness, bitterness, rejection, whatever the name of the disappointment or injury. God isn’t asking us to forget but re-frame.
Build your cairn
We can confidently trust him to guide us through our adventure. Yes, adventure. When we review our current and past circumstances from a distance, we gain a vastly different perspective and a sense of purpose. When we lean in, he comforts and re-frames. He shows us how he has turned those cairns into memorials of his love, even in dark times, especially in dark times.
Listen to the still small voice and follow Him. Your current or future adventure will likely be the answer to someone’s prayer or need. Your story and you are valuable. So, step back and look at His-story in your story. Look to the horizon and the direction He is leading you, and view the beauty of what God is doing through you. He is the God of the impossible! Let Him build your cairn.
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