Friday, December 16, 2011

DEVOTION: A New Focus - by Shirley Corder

God spoke: "Earth, generate life! Every sort and kind: cattle and reptiles and wild animals--all kinds." And there it was: wild animals of every kind, Cattle of all kinds, every sort of reptile and bug. God saw that it was good.

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature, so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth." 

God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God's nature. He created them male and female. . . . And there it was. God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good! It was evening, it was morning-- Day Six(Excerpts from Genesis1:24-32 The Message)

I recently joined a newly formed camera club. At the second meeting, the lecturer taught us some techniques concerning our choice of subjects. He projected various photographs onto the wall, and explained what made them great pictures, or where their weaknesses lay. Each time, he emphasized the need for a focal point. There was no such thing as just a beautiful view. There was always a main focus, perhaps a beautiful rose, a sunset, or a ship.

He showed us a picture of a beautiful garden. Flowering shrubs and shaped hedges surrounded manicured lawns. Overhead, the sky was an azure blue with wisps of soft white cloud—a stunning photograph. High up in the sky, an eagle hovered.

"Where is the focus of this picture?" he asked us. Obviously, the photographer had intended to take a photo of the beautiful gardens. It is likely that he spotted the eagle and planned to include him in the picture.

"Notice something interesting," the speaker continued. "See how your eyes are drawn to the eagle. You look at the gardens. Then you glance back at the bird." He explained how any animal or bird in a picture always dominates the picture, no matter how small it may be.

"Now look at this," he continued. He put up a photograph showing two majestic mountains, one on the right and the other on the left. High in the brilliant blue African sky an eagle or vulture hovered, too small to identify. But the bird wasn't the focus.

Where the mountains came together to form a V, a young woman stood, arms stretched upwards. She was small, but immediately we all reacted. "The woman is the focus." The lecturer smiled, then explained that where life, as in animals or birds, dominate a photograph, when a human being appears, he or she is always the main focus of the picture.

Don't you find that fascinating? When God created the world, He created a magnificent backdrop of mountains, seas, deserts, waterfalls, sandy beaches, mighty rivers and dramatic jungles. And He said "They're good!" Then He created us—men and women—and He said, "They're very good!" Suddenly mankind was the focus of God's entire picture of creation.

As we move toward the end of 2011, I challenge you to ask yourself the question. "What has been my true focus this year?" Then ask, "What will people's eyes be drawn to in my life in 2012?"

Will it be good? Or will it be very good? Remember, God's focus is the people that He created. What will our focus be this coming year? How will we use our lives to bring blessing to His people?

God is not looking at how clever you are. He's not counting how many books you've had published, or how much you've spent on Christmas presents. He's looking at you—the pride and joy of His creation. As the year draws to a close, will He smile with pleasure and say, "That's my child."

Prayer: Lord God, it astounds me that with all the beauty and magnificence of your creation, your real focus is on me. Help me to bring honour to your Name, that when people look at me they say, "God is good—He's very good."

SHIRLEY CORDER lives in South Africa with her husband, a hyperactive budgie called Sparky, and an ever expanding family of tropical fish. She is contributing author to nine books to date and hundreds of her inspirational and life-enrichment articles have been published internationally. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer is due for release in the USA in 2012. You can contact Shirley through her writing website, her Rise and Soar cancer site, or follow her on Twitter.


  1. A challenge to us all and we learned a little about photography at the same time. Thanks Shirley.

  2. Beautifully written! and how very true. Isn't it amazing and humbling and somehow reassuring? "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:4a - KJV)