Saturday, July 27, 2013

Err Message

I was invited to do a photo shoot at a tractor pull in Alexander. The local fire chief works on the pit crew for a monster tractor that can pull tons of sled. To prepare for this assignment, I arrived early at the track to take some practice shots. I found a great location near the finish line when the tractors were pouring out smoke and grinding to a halt. While taking some samples, the shutter simply stopped taking photos. Odd this never happened before.

An “ERR” message appeared on top of the camera but I had no idea what to do next. I spun the dials, reset the default, said a desperate prayer, but the body only kept repeating the infamous “ERR” message.  Sadly, I told the chief that I was running home to check the manual and promised to return in time when his monster tractor was on the track. Back home, the instruction manual read: “When the “ERR’ appears take to your local dealer.” This was not good and I never did get back to the track to take photos of his tractor.

Now my camera mentors suggested that it was time to trade up to “another” new camera. Hold on people, I only had this D7000 model for 16 months. I whined and stomped my feet because I don’t like change. “But it would be good for me,” my mentor said. You could trade up to the D600 professional model. WOW! Now, I would be a pro. Broke and buying more equipment subject to random breakdowns. So, I consulted my options and found a used D600 and bite the bullet. Now I’m a real pro! However, another 200-page manual to review that will be my summer reading.

Now reflect with me for a minute. How many times are we forced to make changes we did not expect? When change happens we complain and pray, “let me be, Lord. I’m already comfortable where I work, live and worship. I don’t want to start over again.”

But there’s this little voice that nudges us in another direction. It’s the voice of God calling us to challenge the values of this world when they do not reflect his love. God invites us many times to take on new adventures that will potentially make us resilient and more in-tune with His spirit.

So what changes are you facing at this moment? A new camera model? Simple, just read the manual and quit complaining. Maybe your changes are more substantial. A new baby in your home, again? Another job change again? Going back to school again? A new health disease that demands our attention again. Worshipping in a new faith community, again.

God enjoys shaking up his creation so that we don’t get stale or bored. It’s His way to wake us up and pay attention beacuse a great shoot is coming our way. I will get that monster tractor photo next year or maybe at the next event.

God watches over us as we prayer: From morning to evening conditions change; all things move swiftly before the Lord.” (Sirach 18: 26).

Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends who are going through changes at this stage in their lives. Be it our health, job, career or relationship give us the wisdom to find our purpose and put ourselves into your loving hands.