keystone

Time for me to confess. I have a problem. It is something that clearly does not bother lots of people, but causes me some angst.

Green DoorThe problem is keystone. Not the cops from the black and white movies. But the adjusting of video projectors so that the image on the screen has vertical sides instead of resembling a trapezoid. It’s called keystone because the shape is that of a keystone that you find at the top of an arch (or apparently above a door if you look at this picture). It happens when a projector is projecting at an angle rather than straight ahead.

Most video projectors have an adjustment that enables you to change the image so that what appears on the screen is an image with vertical sides. I find it frustrating when I see one where clearly that has not been done. Recently I have been in several different places where the keystone adjustment has not been done and have had to restrain myself from toddling over to the projector and making the adjustment myself. (I didn’t, but I did consider it – how sad is that?)

Of course adjusting the keystone setting on a projector means that the image that is projected is distorted. The projector is projecting a skewed image that appears rectangular on the screen.

I have been struggling to think of a spiritual application for this confession of mine. I wonder what is at the heart of my problem? I think it might come from my time working with the Baptist Union of Great Britain when we had people who know about these things telling us about good and bad presentation techniques. It has become important to me that what we present looks as good as it can and adjusting something as simple as keystone can help. And therein lies the application. We all want to project and present an image that is as good as possible.

We keystone ourselves. What we present to other people is a distorted image of the real us. We hide some of our pain, problems, concerns and so on behind an image that presents itself as ‘normal’, ‘correct’, ‘true’. We distort reality and project a neat rectangular image to others when they ask us how we are and respond, “Fine, thanks.” Or we adjust the image that we project so that it looks to others that everything is well with us and that we don’t have any problems.

And in doing so we are not fooling ourselves and we are not fooling God. What we are doing is keeping help at arm’s length rather than receiving what’s on offer. God’s Spirit ministers to us in our deepest places, but he also ministers to us through other people. If we project a perfect image they will never know and we may be preventing God from helping us. Showing others the real ‘us’ may make us vulnerable, it’s a risk. But is the keystone-adjusted image we project better than being helped?

Be blessed, be a blessing.

 

vroom

I am soon going to be getting into the car and head off to the Conference I mentioned last week. Before I go I thought I would put fingers to keyboard and leave you with a thought and a joke.

Sebastian Vettel (Pic:Getty)I was impressed with Sebastian Vettel over the weekend. In case you don’t know, he is a Formula 1 racing driver for the Red Bull team and won the World Championship. He was overcome with emotion immediately afterwards: not knowing whether to laugh or cry and managing to do both. I can’t imagine how he felt but he was open and honest enough to show his emotions.

Bless him

One of the ways in which we are able to grow closer together as followers of Jesus is if we are honest with each other. The knee-jerk reaction to being asked how we are is ‘Fine, thanks’. There are times when we are not fine and if we do not admit that how will people know to pray for us and support us?

Bless you

The tenuous link with this joke is crying…

After tucking their three-year-old child Sammy in for bed one night, his parents heard sobbing coming from his room. 

       
      Rushing back in, they found him crying hysterically. He managed to tell them that he had swallowed a penny and he was sure he was going to die. No amount of talking was helping. 
       
      His father, in an attempt to calm him down, palmed a penny from his pocket and pretended to pull it from Sammy’s ear. Sammy was delighted. 
       
      In a flash, he snatched it from his father’s hand, swallowed, and then cheerfully demanded, “Do it again, Dad!”