“FRAMING THE FUTURE”

WORDS FROM W.W. June 16, 2011
“Framing The Future”

For Father’s Day a year ago my daughter Kecia surprised me by framing all of the photos I have had of teams I have coached in the last decade or so. She put each team photo into it’s own frame and then arranged them on one of the walls in my home study. Some of the photos are larger and require special frames. Some are situated where the vertical sides of the frame are the longer two sides, and others are just the opposite.
The frames don’t change the pictures, but they do influence one’s perspective of it. For example, one of the teams that I enjoyed coaching the most has their photo in a black frame with thin borders around it. The frame, from my view and memory, enhances the sweetness of the season that I shared with the players in that picture. One of the more difficult teams I coached has its photo centered in a solidly built frame that, for some reason, acts like a memory-eraser of the afternoons I felt like I was trying to get a team of mules to take one step forward.
The wall is about to gain a few others frames of this past year’s teams. In preparation for this I went to a store and looked at new frames to place the photos in. I was amazed at the options! A couple of them seemed to communicate serenity. Others non-verbally said “Strong” and “Loving.” I would describe a few as traditional and others as “adolescent-bound.”
The frames communicated perhaps as much as the pictures.
It occurred to me that our faith experience, or perhaps our faith experience through church, is influenced by our “frame.” What has given us a sense of comfort and peace often becomes the “frame” through which we see the view of the present and our hopes for the future.
In essence, disgruntlement or satisfaction with our church is often connected to how well we have experienced the past. It helps us understand why older generations are so passionate about singing hymns. It helps me understand why I sometimes think of youth ministry being done in a certain way…because that’s how it was done when I was in high school, and how I did it when I was a youth director. It explains why certain things are in specific places in a sanctuary, not necessarily because Scripture instructs that way. It also helps us make sense as to why one church has a weekly calendar that never changes, but other churches are more open about altering the schedule on a regular basis.
Our past experiences help frame the present and future. If someone’s experience in a traditional church was riddled with chaos and hurt, he may never be involved in an organized religious group again, or when he does become interested in a faith journey again it could very well be in a non-traditional setting that is fresh and completely different.
Sometimes people leave churches not because they were offended or angered, but because their frame needs a more familiar picture in it. Who would put a Picasso in a frame that would take the attention away from the picture? Who would put a picture of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks in a 1890 picture frame that once held the photo of my grandparents with “four greats” in front ot their names?
The Pharisees often got upset with Jesus. Their faith frame was being seen with a new photo in it, and it was just a little too much out there for them to be comfortable with.
In a culture that is very spiritual, and decreasingly church-based, there will probably be more and more conversation…and heated debate about our different frames. It’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It just is.

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3 Comments on ““FRAMING THE FUTURE””

  1. Janet Says:

    Wow! What a great way of looking at how we view our various circumstances and what influences our feelings and choices.

  2. Janet Says:

    I’d love to print this to share with others but have no clue how to do that! Help this technological dinosaur.


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