Photo-bombing God

Photo-bombing God July 17, 2013

Photo-bombing is a national movement that is purposefully meant to ruin perfectly good photo opportunities. These pranksters insert themselves into the picture by sliding into the frame. The photographer gets home only to see unfamiliar faces in their photos.

Admittedly, I have been a photo-bomber myself, as I can’t resist the urge to make a goofy face or to cross my eyes at just the right time. It’s the clown in me.

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While in this age of digital photos it’s usually a harmless prank, I wonder if I’m photo bombing the Almighty – who He is, what He says, and what He wants me to hear.

I sat in church the other day, listening to a sermon about Elijah, moping under the broom tree because Jezebel had him on the run.  And I thought “yes, that’s me. Always whining about my situation.” Some women from the past also crept into the narrative. but the real story is how God spoke to Elijah, how he overcame the pursuers, and how he confounded and dazzled the magicians.

The story was about an amazing God and not a pouting prophet.

Admit it, modern-day lessons, whether they are delivered in devotional form, Bible studies, or sermons, are increasingly geared to relevancy. They take a passage from Scripture and find modern-day applications, and then drill it down to the personal level.

But what if it isn’t about you? What if God wants to tell us something about him?

I’m guilty. I read passages and I want to know how it relates to my life, to my family, to my circumstance. I read about Lazarus and I admit that some parts of me need to be brought back from the dead. But what if the passage is more about the power of Jesus than the need of Lazarus?

The Bible is about God. It’s not about me.

National Library of Ireland on The Commons

So many times I’ve listened to sermons or teachings, read articles or books, and squeezed myself into the narrative.

Rather than sit through a lesson and find some sort of application for my mixed up life, maybe I would be better off finding out about God, his nature, and his expectations.

Nancy, at Conversations in Faith, read Leviticus and she caught herself trying to get a little too personal instead of just letting the text speak. “(We) tend to make ourselves the center of the discussion. What does Leviticus have to do with me? How does this apply to my life? ” she said. “But really the story isn’t about us–it is about God. We’re part of the story but we are not the entire story or even most of the story.”

I need to quit photo-bombing God, and just get out of the way.

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  • rickd3352013

    Yet again another of the posts I’ve come to expect – funny, thoughtful, and timely.

  • By cracky! I think you have got yourself a good idea here! :) Seriously Dan, this post is right on the money. I am often guilty of looking at a passage and instead of just enjoying it, I try to twist and turn it to being about me. You make an excellent and provoking point.

  • Yes! Excellent reminder to focus on Him alone, and don’t we all need this daily? Really, the application we’re all after is adoration, and that can’t happen when we’re photobombing. I’ll tuck this one away for future reading…and will never look at a bombed photo the same way again.

  • Wow…this one really hit home! I am guilty. Always thought the way to read a passage was to find how does this apply to “me”. Perhaps today I can begin seeing more than little ole me. I want to “see” God in His Word, not me. When I see how big He is, perhaps I will finally be able to get out of the way of what He wants to do through me!

  • Great Post,

    This has been something heavy on my heart these last few days. We always seem to get in the way and think it’s about us, who we are, what we possess that makes the difference. In reality it is ALL about God. Everything created and sustained is for his glory. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty the heavens and earth are filled with His Glory!

  • melina

    I agree. You are exactly right, but maybe that’s just a really telling sign that we are still the centre of our lives and not God. Mmm… how can I apply and solidify this truth?

    – start a smash book on all the things I know about God and search the scriptures to fill it up?

    Ps: funny pics!

  • Pingback: Saturday Shortcuts | Planned Peasanthood()

  • Floyd

    Good call. Our nature wants to put us front and center, or at least in the picture… I did that as a kid but never knew it was called photobombing… although pretty sure it wasn’t back then…

    It’s a gift from God to realize that it’s not all about us… It is about His love, mercy, and grace. I have to admit this flesh needs a reminder more than I like to admit.

  • This was fun, and it spoke to me. Too often I also allow me to get in the way of what the scripture is really about. Sometimes I hear sermons and read blogs and think, “Is Jesus really just a life coach?” There’s so much more in the lessons then how to improve my circumstances.

  • We do get in the way, and while we think it is funny – it is preserved for all to view! I ruined my grandparents 50th anniversary photo at the park. I knew if I got far enough away, perhaps the photographer would not see me. Later my Uncle said to my dad, I think one of yours messed up the photo! Yes, I was caught and punished. I found your post at: Rick’s saturday list;

  • Ouch. Guilty as charged. I too often turn a text into something about me instead of something about God. This is a great analogy you’re making and these photos really make me laugh. :-) Thanks for sharing your insight.

  • Hmm… This is a pretty interesting idea. Sometimes our application can get so personal that we make it more about our flaws and failings than about his strength displayed to everyone. Huh, that’s powerful.

  • Wow. Humbled.


    A Recovering Photobomber.

    Loved this. Talk about turning an approach upside down — or rather, right side up. :)