The Forest or the Trees

2013-05-22 07.16.04

I have never considered myself a details-oriented person. I don’t know if it was some utter lack of self-awareness, or if it was something that I considered as an ill personality trait to possess. Detail-oriented people are the type who want everything done their way, and to the letter. Right? Well, no, actually not always.

I am discovering that being detail-oriented is not synonymous with being a control freak. (But, if we’re on the confession bandwagon, I will admit that I do want to be in control. I want to be in control of MY life. I want things to flow in the manner of which I have designed. But, I only get so hung up on this mentality when it is my life that is in question.) What I am discovering to be a more true statment, is that people who are defined as detail-oriented are those who pay attention to the details.

Please hold all of your shock and surprise for a later date.

I am a detail collector. I am going to pick up things, and capture them much like a post-it note functions. I learn favorite colors, candies, movies, books, music, just by interacting with someone. I don’t have to intentionally ask someone a question to file this sort of information away in a memory vault. Instead, I just absorb all of these small, tiny things about people as I work on creating a more complete whole concept of that person.

But, this is where I have encountered the most adversity. I spend all of this time trying to piece together a complete picture of a person, that I just spend time hung up on the details. I can’t know how to comfort someone when they are faced with tragedy if I am hung up on what their their favorite’s list.

I hear the “you’ll never see the forest for the trees” line frequently. I hear it from other people, but mostly, I hear it from God. He speaks this reminder over and over in my Spirit, because all of my focus on detail paves the way for a lot of time spent dwelling with Worry. Worry’s number one priority is to rob you, not only of the future (because you’re creating a hypothetical one, anyway), but primarily of the present moment. As long as you are inviting Worry over for afternoon tea, you are failing to be effective in the very moment that you have been given. Worry does her best work by having you focused on tomorrow, when God is very clear on stating that we are called to live for this day, this moment, this time. After all, this is the God that has designed me for such a time as this.

Yet, I still find myself hung up on the details. I ask all of these specific questions of God. “God how do you want me to respond to so-and-so’s reaction to my comment about that vague thing that no longer is relevant?” I don’t count any form of prayer as a bad way to spend your time. But, my Jesus keeps reminding me that I am missing out on my opportunities to be effective presently for the Kingdom because I am so hung up on Him coming down and revealing to me how to live in each single moment.

I don’t need to be praying more specific prayers that have general answers hidden in the rich source of the Word. Rather, I need to be doing the very things that God has chagred me to do. And, in case I ever forget what they are–Jesus made it very clear that there are two things that are most important. One is to love God with all that I have. And the second is to love people. If I am so very focused on these things, then I see the bigger picture. I see that my every waking moment should be geared towards Love.

I don’t want to spend another moment giving away my time to Worry. She isn’t a very friendly companion, and she doesn’t seem to relent once you invite her over once or twice. But, even in that bondage of worry, doubt, and anxiety, there is freedom. Because there is truly power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.


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