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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


The Crooked Picture

Jeff liked the way he looked in his football picture. The team photographer has posed hi in a traditional action stance, which made Jeff look big, tough, mean. Jeff liked the way he looked in the picture so much that he had an enlargement made for his parents. They immediately framed the photo and hung it on the wall.

One day Jeff came home and noticed that his picture was hanging crooked. He pushed up the side that was hanging low, stood back, and decided that it was straight. It looked good.

The next day Jeff came home and noticed that his picture was crooked again. "Maybe I didn't get it straight enough yesterday," he told himself. So once again he pushed up the low side of the picture, stepped back, and decided that it was straight. And he couldn't help admiring himself in that picture.

The next day Jeff came home and noticed the picture hanging crooked again. "Hey, who keeps messing with my picture?" he wondered aloud. "I'm sure I had it straight yesterday." Once again Jeff straightened the picture and walked away, wondering if it would be crooked again tomorrow.

Sure enough, it was.

Jeff stared at the picture for a moment before an idea occurred to him. On the back of the frame was a horizontal wire that caught the wall hook. "Maybe the wire isn't centered on the hook," Jeff guessed. He slid the picture to the left about a quarter of an inch. When he let go, it hung straight.

The next day the picture was hanging perfectly straight, as it was every day after that. And every day Jeff couldn't help admiring how good he looked in that picture.

A picture frame will only stay level if it's centered on the hook. If it's not, any attempt to correct the problem will only be temporary. Gravity will always pull it out of whack. In the same way, unless we make Christ the center of our lives, we'll always be out of whack. In this case, though, sin -not gravity - is the problem. We can try and try to straighten ourselves out, but eventually we will always end up right back where we started. Is your life centered in Christ? Have you made Him the Lord of your life? If you have, you'll always look good in the sight of God - and His is the only opinion that really matters.

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward