Saturday, March 5, 2016


The story goes that one day a professor announced that there would be a surprise test that day. He handed out the papers on which there were no questions, only a tiny black dot in the center of the paper. He told them to write what they saw. When the papers were handed in, the professor read them aloud. Every student had written what he imagined about the significance of the black dot!

“You will not be graded on this, but I want to bring something important to your attention,” he said. “None of you wrote about the white part of the paper which takes up nearly all of the space. All of you concentrated on the black dot.

“The same happens in our lives. We each have been daily given, as it were, a fresh, white piece of paper to observe and enjoy but we always seem to focus on the dark spots. Our lives are a gift from God and He chooses with love and care to bless us. We always have many reasons to celebrate—nature renewing itself everyday, our friends, the job that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see every day. However, we are preoccupied with our dark spot: the health issues that bother us, the lack of money or other provision, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend. The dark spots are very small compared to all the other positives and blessings we have in such abundance, represented by the white space. But the negatives are what hold us down, occupy us, and consume our minds.

“Learn to take your eyes away from the black dots in your life. Occupy yourself with and enjoy each of your overflowing blessings, each precious moment that God gives you. Fill your life with love and thanksgiving.”

The little story above packs a big punch. Truly, some of us specialize in looking through the binoculars of our lives through the smaller eyepiece that magnifies something small into something way out of proportion larger than it is. When we focus in on the tiny “black dot” it begins to loom immense so that we forget God's overwhelming abundance of blessings and positives. Let's rather turn the binoculars around and look at any black dot in our life through the larger eyepiece that minimizes it or brings it into proper perspective. 

Whatever our passing human affliction that is disordering our “earth suit” (mortal body), or our seeming lack of provision, or disturbance of earthly relationships, or our growing limitations, or however many "black dots" are scattered in our God-ordained "white space," they are not worthy to be compared with the glory that God has in store for us in the Eternal realm.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103:1). Left to our natural, fleshly tendencies, we are mentally programmed to view a half-filled glass as half empty, not half full. Let's not be “black dot” fixated people but lift our eyes to look on things from above, from God's perspective.

Blessings are also the things that haven't happened, the tests that came out normal, and the things that we are still able to do and enjoy, and ways that we can still please the Lord and serve Him--in spite of and even through our "black dots."  Let's pay attention to which end of the binoculars we look through!

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