An Experience is Worth a Thousand Pictures

An Experience is Worth a Thousand Pictures

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Last summer I got to visit Paris. The small group I was with went to an area called Trocadero that offers a great vantage point for viewing the Eiffel Tower. We had a picnic dinner. Around 8:50pm, as the sun was setting, dozens of buses started showing up. Hoards of people poured onto the small square where we had been eating.

I couldn’t figure out what was happening. The crowd kept getting bigger and bigger.

As I sat there watching the frenzied crowd I heard a collective gasp. I turned to see what everyone was pointing their phones at. The Eiffel Tower was all lit up and glittering. I watched with a deep sense of gratitude that God would allow me to be in Paris and see this. It was a moving moment.

But as I looked around I saw thousands of phones, raised above the crowd. Literally every single person was watching the event through a phone or tablet. The real deal was right in front of them, but they were all watching it on a screen trying to capture it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. But here’s the thing. An experience is worth a thousand pictures.

Sadly, I think many of us miss the actual experience because we are trying so hard to capture the moment rather than just enjoy it.

There’s a scene in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (a movie I highly recommend, I’ve watched it 10+ times, clean and inspiring) where Walter has finally found the photographer he has been chasing around the world for weeks. As they sit looking at a rare snow leopard in the Himalayas, Walter asks when the photographer is going to take the shot. The photographer never takes the shot. He just enjoys the moment.

Life is made for living and enjoying, right here and right now – not for capturing and framing. I’ve found my life has gotten a lot fuller since I decided to start being more in the moment and stop trying to capture everything. You might find the same.

Check out that clip from Walter Mitty here.

…Hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Tim. 6:17

P.S. Got any experiences like my Eiffel Tower one? What was it like? I’d love to hear about it with words in the comments section. 🙂