This summer I’ve challenged myself to take a photo a day. I’m having fun with the project—learning how to use the various settings on my camera, studying how to frame my subjects to maximize the photo’s impact, practicing. One of the rules of photography I have been toying with is the Rule of Thirds. And though it makes my pictures better, I realize the rule of thirds isn’t strictly limited to photographic art.
Our lives can be divided them into thirds, too.
The Learning Years.
For most of us, the first third of our life is spent in education. We learn to walk and talk, read and write, train for careers, experiment with hobbies. These years are the foundation we build our lives on, and we look to the future with eager anticipation. If we build well, with God’s grace we set ourselves on a positive course. If we build poorly, our lives can become a difficult tangle of misstep and pain.
The Productive Years
Once we’ve set our course, the days of our lives quickly fill with family, work, duty and responsibility. We build on the foundations erected during our learning years. Our lives are crammed to overflowing as we try our best to satisfy all the demands thrown our way. We focus heavily on the present. Things never run as smoothly or as straight as we’d like, but, if we had time to stop and think, we’d conclude our lives are indeed full and fulfilling.
The Harvest Years
Our nests are empty, our careers are winding down. Or our new careers—based on the wisdom and experience we’ve gleaned in the first two-thirds of our lives—are just beginning.
That’s where I am right now. Looking back at the first two thirds, searching to solidify the things God has taught me and to apply them in new ways.
Sometimes I’m eager for new adventure,
sometimes I’m nostalgic for the past,
often I feel off balance.
But as I reflect on the rule of thirds, and focus on what matters most to me, I see my life is still beautiful.
And thank's to God's unfailing grace, there is still room to grow.
How about you?
Are you busy surviving the day? Looking forward? Or looking back?
What are the lessons God is teaching you here & now?
Jayne E. Self
mystery writer and amateur photographer.
You can visit her at