A friend of mine had an experience at her work that she recently shared with me. She told me of how she would tag different piles of papers to be filed with small post-it notes. These little scraps of paper were probably no larger than two by one and a half inches in size. She uses maybe three to five of them a week. A note from management appeared on her desk that stated, “Please do not use these post-it papers for this task as it is not cost efficient.” What? Understanding that all businesses must monitor spending, and her company chose to point out this small expenditure as an outlandish expense? My friend pointed out that there were plenty of other areas at her work where they could cut back on expenses or get someone to stop wasting time or product. But to penny pinch and pick at such a little expense seemed extreme and a little crazy.
Now I don’t know all the details of the finances or management of my friend’s place of work. But it appears to me that someone is nit-picking. They are so focused on a financially small issue, that they may even be missing a larger, more money draining issue. Perhaps they need to step back and look at the whole work operation – at the whole picture.
The reality is: We all get caught up and focused on one small thing from time to time in our lives. Personally, I could let it bother me when my husband leaves drinking glasses out on the counter overnight. But the fact that he will actually do the dishes and empty the dishwasher when it needs it allows me to shrug off that one small bad habit. As parents, we all could criticize the rumpled way our children make their beds before backing up to see that at least the bed was made and the room may even be in some sort of cluttered clean. Perhaps there is a co-worker that just rubs you the wrong way or a member of your church committee who just drives you nuts – why not take a step back and look at the whole picture? Do you like your job and the rest of your co-workers? Is your committee accomplishing its goals? If we take the criticizing focus off of the one thing that bothers us to recognize the whole panoramic picture, it gives us a whole new view.
I love Readers Digest and read it cover to cover. They have one particular feature where they show an image from a different perspective. You have to guess what you’re looking at. The next page will then show a picture of the whole thing and you are amazed at the different view. The feature is titled “Look Twice: One scene two very different views.” The view on the upper left of this story is actually the work of Lake Superior on the bottom of a boat. All summer long, the cold, clear waters swirl unseen designs on sailboats’ hulls and keels. The image on the upper right is the feathery breast of the iridescent ocellated turkey that resides in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Sometimes we need to back up and take a different view of life when we don’t like what we see or when we feel a need to complain about a scene in our lives. We need to take off the blinders and take in all the surroundings of a situation to honestly and fairly assess it.
If you don’t like what you are seeing today, try taking a different view.
Open your eyes.
Mathew 7:3-5 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.