Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Trees for the Forest

I am a big picture person.

I want to know how things fit into a larger whole. What is the context? How does this connect with that? That kind of stuff.

So naturally, I love studying the Bible. What a story! How that many different authors in that many different times and places wove all that together is mind bottling. I think people would be much better off getting the big picture of Scripture and seeing how the pieces come together to make the whole.

But there is also such beauty in the individual books. I have been going through the Gospel of Mark with my staff team this year and that guy knows how to tell a story! The themes and repeated phrases and juxtapositions make it so much fun to dig into.

I get to lead a fairly large section of it next week at our retreat and I am a little overwhelmed. There are so many dots to connect. There are so many threads to tie together. There are so many metaphors to invent to explain what I am trying to do. (That last one was a joke.)

I am excited to try it and to help people see and grasp the big picture, but I notice myself doing something. I notice myself missing the beauty of the individual trees in this vast forest.

I am more concerned with how the healing of the Legion man connects to the calming of the storm than the fact that Jesus just absolutely changed that man's life forever.

I am more concerned with the relationship between the Syrophoenician Woman and the feeding of the four thousand than I am by the fact that Jesus walked a hundred miles out of his way just to (seemingly at random) heal her daughter.

I am more concerned with the juxtaposition of the little children coming to Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler than I am with the fact that Jesus loved that guy and wanted him to follow him and he said "no." Sad!

The trees here are beautiful on their own. I don't want to miss them because it will make the forest itself that much more beautiful.

So may we find the beauty in both.

1 comment:

  1. Just so that you have a comment on this post, here is mine! I know what you mean. I love the book of James. Have read it countless times. But realize that there are so many things in there that i just miss. And as i read through the OT i am amazed at how much really does pertain to me. Not all, i think, but some! Good luck with the retreat teaching.