The Big Picture

Do you long for meaning and purpose in life? Do you want to be remembered well by family and friends when you are gone? Do you want your life to have counted for something worthwhile, to have made a difference in someone’s life?

I can say “absolutely yes” to each of these questions. That’s why I spend hours each week attempting to craft a blog that may be helpful to someone I may not even know. I want to make a difference for someone.

We are made for the “Big Picture,” to be part of something larger, more important than ourselves.

 About twenty years ago, Pastor Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life.  This book touched a hunger deep inside many folks, selling over 30 million copies! Extraordinary. Why? Because it touched on the idea that each of us needs to live for the Big Picture. This idea, living for God and His purpose, is a biblical message that calls us to become believers and invest our lives in the things that matter most.

This sense of wanting to live for something greater than ourselves appeals to folks who are not necessarily turned on to religion. I found the following article an interesting read. You may also.,that%20gives%20you%20immense%20satisfaction.

I want to discuss the Big picture from my point of view as a struggling follower of Jesus. To do this, I want to look at 3 things. First, what is the Big Picture? Next, everyday challenges to seeing the Big Picture. And, some suggestions for living in the Big Picture.

First, what is the Big Picture?

If you can answer that question, you have the key and direction for the most important things in your life. All the smaller but important pieces of your life puzzle fit and come together if you see the big picture. It’s really like working a 1,000-piece box puzzle. All the small pieces only have meaning as they are put together to duplicate the “big picture” on the box top.

Your marriage, parenting, work, friendships, personal growth and development, time, money, and energies become focused and coordinated when you see and commit to God’s Big Picture for your life. I believe the Bible tells us what the Big Picture is in Matthew 22: 36-40.

These verses are Jesus’ response to the question, ” What is the great commandment in the Law?” I interpret this question to be, ” What’s the Big Picture, the most important thing in life?” Here’s my summary of Jesus’ answer, “Love God supremely and with everything that is in you. And, love others as you love yourself.”

Life’s central purpose, that which gives it true meaning and focus is our relationships with God, ourselves, and others. I devote a chapter to each of these areas in my book Heaven’s Currency.

The Big Picture

Next, what are some everyday challenges to staying focused on the Big Picture?

Life happens. The challenges of everyday living often distract me from keeping everything in focus. Besides grieving and adjusting to the death of my older brother, I have bills to pay, deadlines to meet, health concerns, and the care of my family. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s easy to get bogged down in what’s going on with me to the point that I lose focus on the overarching picture of the ultimate meaning of life.

This is not to say that I should somehow divorce myself from my grief or zone out of the demands of everyday living. What I’m trying to say is that I need to have something that stabilizes and calls me back to this larger view of life. Something needs to be in place to help me put these pieces of my life experiences together in a way that keeps me focused on the Big Picture.  So, I want to turn to some things that help me do this.

Finally, Keeping the Big Picture in view.

Like you, I face challenging and discouraging times. I am sometimes disappointed in myself and others. I sometimes question why God allows things to happen the way they do. Here are some things that help me refocus when I’m not doing so well.

  1. Every day I affirm that God is good. Whether things are going well or poorly with me, I express my agreement with scripture that God is good. He loves me and wants the best for me. Many things I don’t understand but I know Jesus loves and cares for me. With only a few exceptions, I journal every day. These three words are somewhere in every entry, “God is good.”
  2. I remember that God is in control. He has my life and destiny in his hands. I cling to the promise in Romans 8: 28 that ” God is working in everything for good for those who love Him..” I, like many of you, am angry and thoroughly disgusted with the direction of our country. It’s increasingly difficult for me to watch news programs about all the craziness going on. But, God is still in ultimate control and will keep his promises to us.
  3. I refocus on a life-purpose statement I wrote out several years ago. Over twenty-five years ago I was introduced to a book by Stephen Covey entitled, The 7 Habits of  Highly Effective People. 

This book has had a profound effect on my thinking and my life. After reading and attempting to apply the 7 habits, I decided to follow Covey’s suggestion and write my personal purpose statement. After several attempts, I settled on this, ” To honor Christ and my family through my personal and professional relationships.”

I believe this statement is consistent with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 22: 36-40. From my statement, I develop goals and actions to honor/love God, myself, and others. In stressful and difficult times this statement brings me back to focus on how the pieces of my life fit into the bigger puzzle of life. I highly recommend a life-purpose statement to anyone who wants to stay focused on the things that matter most in life. Do you have a purpose statement for your life?

4.  I focus on what I am responsible for, and what I can do. Each of us can do something positive to make this world a better place. We can pray, work, encourage others, and do what we can or we can moan, groan, complain, and allow our frustration and negative attitude to color everything we do and say.

Again, this is not to ignore problems that need fixing. If we can fix them, we are to fix them. If we can’t fix them, we encourage and pray for those who can. There is always something we can do to help. Let’s find it and be involved in the Big Picture of God’s purpose for us in 2024 as He attempts to bring healing and hope to a broken world. What can you and I do? Love the Lord with everything we have and are, love ourselves well, and love others as we love ourselves.


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