© 2012 mikeandbrynne

Out of Focus

If my entries have seemed few and far between, I cite my canon camera as the culprit.  The Christmas after Daisie was born Mike got me my first “real” camera.  I have never had any photography skills and had historically relied on others to take pictures for me.  In fact, I remember going on a study abroad to Israel, Jordan and Egypt in college and not even taking a camera.  My photography learning curve was, and still is great.  Initially, I rather enjoyed our new camera and its capabilities.  Slowly, over the years, however, the camera has become “finicky” (like my two year old occasionally becomes at dinner) and it will just decide not to focus.  Sometimes this predicament will last for a few minutes, sometimes hours.  Regardless of how you adjust the lens or the setting, the camera simply will not focus.  This ailment has slowly been deteriorating over the years and has rapidly become debilitating.  Thus, my camera is currently sitting in the shop right now in need of a full body tune up and possible replacement.  As I was pondering on this predicament and reading the Book of Mormon with my boys this morning about Alma and Amulek, I was reminded of a lesson I was privileged to teach last month in gospel doctrine.  Slowly, like my camera, the Nephites had started to lose focus until their predicament had also became debilitating.  They turned their backs on the followers of God, forgot the source of their blessings and became “ripe for destruction”.  How?  They simply lost focus.

Most mornings you can find me out in the pool trying to swim a few laps.  I have yet to purchase legitimate goggles and my cheap pair often gets fogged up to the point that I can no longer see clearly.  Sometimes I feel that way with life.  I get distracted by things that are unimportant (socks shoved in all corners of the house, handprints on my white walls, mutiny at the dinner table, piles of unread mail, carpools to sporting events) and my lens is out of focus, my goggles are “fogged up”.  The key to fine tuning my focus can be found in the scriptures-repentence which really includes refocusing: Letting the things of unimportance blur into the background and bringing the things of importance into the foreground.  I love daisies.  In our front yard we have planted some cute little white daisies.  When we came home after being away this fall we had some serious weeding to do. Initially I skipped over the daisies because they looked so good from a distance.  When I finally took the chance to examine them I found that the entire plant had nearly been taken over by an aggressive weed.  The stems were completely intertwined and in order to extract the weed I would have to inflict some serious damage on my daisies.  I was amazed at how quickly the weed had been able to overtake so much of the plant and how unaffected the plant appeared to be.  It made me stop to think about how quickly we as humans can get distracted, slightly out of focus, “fogged up” and the havoc that such distraction can cause our souls, even when no drastic change may be apparent on the exterior.  I hope that the aggravating lesson with my non-focusing camera will always be a reminder to me of the my need to focus in on what matters most.