The Write Word

The Million Dollar Lens

On Tuesday last I was enjoying a time of respite. The children were splashing in water while I happily indulged my passion for photographing them. When I began to disassemble the camera components I ran into a snag. The hood would not unscrew. Strange, since I had not put it on tightly. I tried harder. No. I tried harder still. No. So in frustration and anger, I forced it. And broke it. Not the $25 hood, no indeed, but the much more expensive lens.

 AHHHHHHHHHH. I sat there in utter confusion. How could this be? I knew that I had not screwed it on that tight, I also knew no one else had touched the camera. I had all the facts. Or so I thought. Unbeknownst to me, there is a difficulty in using a screw on hood on a Canon 50mm lens. Something about how the auto focus turns which tightens the hood. An Internet search turned up similar problems with other users. With similar results no doubt.

Had I been more knowledgeable, and had all the facts I would have gladly left things alone. Had I realized how things work I would have made a better decision. And had I been wiser, I would not have forced my will on the camera. Knowledge is power. Wisdom is more powerful still.

If we deal in the facts, which we may never have the complete list of, we can make good decisions. But if we have wisdom we do not HAVE to have all the facts. Knowledge relies on the truth I know. Which changes. Wisdom relies on eternal, everlasting truth of Gods word, which NEVER changes.

How many times do we find ourselves in that critical moment, hood in hand, lens still intact. That split second when we choose to force it, or not. Moments when stripping out the threads will result in far more damage than a broken lens. Moments of anger, when hurtful words lie poised ready to leap from our mouths and shred the heart of another. Moments when temptation's lure lies just inside our reach, ready to shatter the trust of others. Moments when sorrow and grief push to the edge of a cliff and the promise of peace seems one purchase, drink, snort, hit or pill away. The answer to these questions is many. Many, many, many times in life we stand there, briefly halted in the valley of decision.

It is the wise person who will set Wisdom up as the guard post of thought. For actions are made of thoughts. With Wisdom at the helm our ships steer clear the rocks of harsh words, the riptides of self pity and the cross currents of destructive deception. Pity the soul steered by self or worldly wisdom. When troubles come, and they will, they find themselves lost in the storm. With no anchor of the soul to hold them.

The facts may scream "I did not cause this, I do not deserve this"! And the facts may be right. But if, in frustration and anger, we force the issue, force our rights, force our agenda, force our will, we may push too hard. And in pushing , we may break something. Something in ourselves, or in others.

Best to rely on patience, for with it we possess our souls. The quieting of the spirit, the emotions, the will, is an act of control. It can be, with practice, done in any situation. The Bible states that a man who can control is spirit (emotions) is stronger than a man who can conquer an entire city.

Its been a hard, expensive lesson. A class I would have rather not taken. But a lesson I am glad to have learned. And now I find myself with two things. A broken 50mm lens, and a wiser heart. A hundred dollar lens, but a million dollar lesson.