A wise person once said that you don’t take a photograph. The photograph takes you. I find this to be a great insight. When I go out with my camera, I might have a general idea of what I would like to photograph, but it often happens that I come back with images I initially had no intention of taking.
This is the result of letting the world around me impinge upon my consciousness. I let myself be “taken” by the scene in front of me. The photo becomes a record of what engaged my attention, what fascinated me, what drew me in.
The subject matter doesn’t have to be a grand scene. Often I am drawn in by quiet, serene landscapes or the tiny details of larger scenes. There is something about such scenes that draws me in and feeds my sense of peace and union with the world around me.
I think there’s a similar dynamic at play in our Christian discipleship. We don’t choose God out of the blue. God first reaches out to us–through our relationships, through the witness of others, through the events of our life, through prayer and worship, through insights and reflection. Our task is to be open to the ways in which we are called to connect with God, in effect, to let ourself be taken. This requires great freedom.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16)