Who gets the credit?
I enjoy the challenges and rewards of nature photography. As I sifted through half a Gigabyte of jpgs this afternoon, I was glad to find a good handful of decent shots of bees getting nectar from a goldenrod plant.
(Tip: do your nectar shots at flowers that have plenty of it: that way the insects will be still longer.)
I got thinking, when we see a close-up shot of one of these marvelous creatures, what is our first thought? It is not the beauty of the bee, nor its perfect pose, nor its tireless industry.
It is admiration for the photographer, who composed the shot, got within 5 inches in the middle of buzzing stinging things flying about, set up the lens and camera correctly, then touched up the resulting photo in such a way to bring out the details and colors.
Now I as a photographer must remember to "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips." Proverbs 27:2
But I want to bring out another point. Let us put ourselves in the place of the bee. These little critters had no idea they were about to become famous. They paid no attention to the camera or the man behind it. (The man behind it was very glad of this.) They simply went about their tasks in the business of pollen and nectar, and fulfilled their life's calling.
God has set us to do work for Him on earth. We know that He can see us and will reward us for our labor, but we should not be looking over our shoulder for approval all the time.
Sometimes God picks out a man or woman to display to the world and/or fellow believers. Is this so people can pat them on the back, honor them with favors, put a fancy suit on them and put them on TV? Is it so they can sell books with their face or name on the cover, sign autographs, and become in general a "Christian celebrity"?
No, the glory is due the Photographer. He took an interest in each one of us to declare HIS Name among the children of men. We are a reflection of the wisdom and grace and mercy of God almighty.
We may not like the way we are portrayed by the Photographer. This too is pride, and detracts from the glory God deserves.
So, to wrap up my scattered thoughts,
are we out to build a name and identity of our own?
Or are we content to be insignificant, but specially chosen and greatly loved,
A part of the Master's portfolio.