"If only I could see the original picture"

Seeing the Big Picture

In high school some of my greatest memories can be found in my local hometown’s sports grill. Each Thursday night we would meet to watch whatever college football game happened to be on. Even though we were going to watch football and eat great wings, that was not our main motivation. In the heart of each booth at this sports grill a gaming screen could be found. I am scared to even add up all of the quarters that I spent on this one particular game which took up most of my Thursday nights. The objective of the game was to determine the original picture based off of magnified images. Some times I would be able to determine that the magnified blade of grass was in fact a full yard, but most times I sat in frustration not being able to tell the larger picture from the particular magnified one.

This past semester I have seen the way I share the gospel change drastically. Thinking back to those frustrating times at the sports grill, I remember thinking, “if only I could see the original picture, I would understand this magnified picture and how it fits.”

When sharing the gospel, I have seen myself focus on the particulars of why Jesus came to die, but never really casting a grander picture of the story of God’s plan. The majority of students respond with “Sunday school answers” when I ask them “Why did Jesus come to earth?” The answers like “he died for my sins” or “because I need a savior”. These terms have become common language in our Christian culture, but without understanding the need for a savior these Sunday school answers are not fully grasped.

I now work from a bigger picture covering four areas: the world as it ought to be, the world as it is, the world as it can be, and the world as it will be. This gives us the full picture of the story of God’s plan and helps us see the full importance of why Jesus came to earth.

This method has been particularly helpful in communicating our call to social justice with the Auburn college students whom I work with. I have seen many students have a desire to end slavery but are not exactly sure as to why they are so concerned with doing so. By helping them see the full picture of God’s plans for redemption they have been able to see where their motivations come from and see their role in His great story.

Spencer Owen