Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rule of Thirds

In photography, there is a concept called “the rule of thirds”. The phrase may be new to some, so here’s an explanation: in composing a shot before the shutter clicks, the photographer may choose to consider an imaginary division of the image into 9 equal parts (like a tic-tac-toe game). Each juncture where the “lines” cross is one-third of the image. Placement of a key element of the photo along one of these dissecting lines often provides a nice, off-center look to the finished picture, and helps avoid the common “bull’s eye” look, where the action or focus is at the very center.

During a conference at Mississippi’s Camp Garaywa, I was trying my hand at this recently- learned concept. This photo, taken just down from the lovely Patterson Place lodging, made the perfect (and most cooperative) subject.

When planning our days, we’d do well to consider the “rule of thirds” with the 24 hours God grants to each of us. Our Creator has fashioned our bodies with a need to rest, and for most, eight hours (a third of the day) provides a good night’s sleep. Then those who have a job spend about another third of our daily allotment “bringing home the bacon”. So that leaves more-or-less eight hours for the other third, to do all the things that don’t pertain to work or sleep.

The Bible tells us “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1). You’re familiar with the secular counterpart, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (or Jill a dull gal)”. Some are workaholics, devoting way more than one-third of their day to their job. Some may claim justification, but most often, it isn’t necessary, and it’s usually the family that suffers most. Solomon offers this warning: “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income… (Eccl.5:10).
Of course, the other side of the coin are those who can work and don’t: “The sluggard's craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work” (Prov. 21:25). God created us to work; we see that in the very first chapters of Genesis. Those who have a job that provides an honest living, allows them to use their skills (whether innate or learned), and honors God are blessed indeed.
So what to do with the remaining third? Aside from the time required for tending to responsibilities and activities involving home and family, are we careful to seek opportunities to develop spiritually and serve our fellow man, both in the secular and spiritual realm? And are we avoiding time-wasters, such as worshipping the TV god, or mindless internet surfing? As for myself, I want to put a spiritual slant on the “rule of thirds”, and to do so, I should join the Psalmist in his prayer:
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”Psalm 90:12
Best wishes from lefthandrightbrain:)