Saturday, May 15, 2021

Say Cheese

There are days when I encounter the real struggles in life and feel that I just cannot endure anymore.  After a year like 2020 and all of the pandemic protocols…you would think that I would be empowered with enough stamina to handle just about anything.  In fact, I thought I could…until the Little Falls Community High School Prom Picture Taking Marathon of 2021 took place. 

My oldest daughter looked amazing for her first prom.  Her escort looked nice too…which made me all the more want to jab that boutonniere pin a little too far into his lapel.  The nice young man showed up at 1:00 p.m. to pick her up and snap some pictures.  I stood and watched…and stood “in” the taking of a large number of digital photographs for about an hour.    

“There…that wasn’t so bad,” I stated to my wife…pleased with myself for the endurance I had just exhibited. 

“Yes…that was nice,” my wife answered.

“Hannah is going to text us when we are supposed to meet them at Maple Island Park for the next round of pictures.”

“Wait…what?...More pictures?” I beckoned.

“Why yes!...but that’s ok…I can go alone…I guess.”

“I will go with you,” I droned.

“Oh…you don’t have to…but ok!”

I parked the car in the nearest spot to Maple Island Park that I could find and began walking the 1 mile trek to the “bridge,” where we would stand and wait for our turn for pictures.

“Now let’s take a shot with one hand in your pocket and one hand waving…now the other hand in your pocket and the other hand waving.”

“Now let’s get a shot of just the girls…now one of just the boys…now one of just this turtle sitting on the rock in the river.”

“Let’s get a picture looking at the water…now let’s get a picture with our backs to the water…now one with the dam in the background…now one with this flowering tree.”

“Oh…we should get one with that white flowering tree over there on the opposite side of the park.”

“We should stand here and think of some more obscure shots that we could take.”

“Dad, are you coming to Grand March to take more pictures?”

If it weren’t for digital photography, we would be out of film by this time and this marathon would be over. 

If this is all I have to endure in life, then I have it extremely easy.  Despite the hours of photographs, I cannot complain.  My daughter makes good choices, as does her very respectful escort…though he may or may not have an extra pin puncture in his upper left torso.   

Yet, there are days when we must endure hardships…some much more difficult than a day of photographs.   

When I think a day of photos is rough…all I need to do is read Revelation 13.  This is one of darkest pictures of evil that we find in all of Scripture.  We find a Dragon and two beasts enter into the picture and bring about incredible destruction and hardship…specifically for followers of Jesus.  Remarkably…in the middle of this chapter…we find a brief word of encouragement.  God tells us that believers will be arrested…and killed…and this will call for “faithful endurance.”

This will take some REAL endurance!.  When we feel that we cannot take it anymore…we are called to endure.  When we don’t have the strength to do it…Jesus does!  We can faithfully endure…because Jesus faithfully endured.   

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