Nobel Prize winner Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, is now retired after more than 40 years service in the UN system. 

He was asked about the success he experienced in his career, he relates some of it to this story from his early teenage years in a Methodist boarding school in Ghana.
One day our headmaster walked into the classroom and put up a broad sheet of paper with a small black dot in one corner.

"Boys," he asked, "what do you see?"

All of us shouted in unison, "A black dot!"

Then he said, "So not a single one of you saw the large white sheet of paper? Don't go through life with that attitude."

On any given day we see these dots everywhere — in the system, in society, in the people we work with and the projects we’re trying to complete. If we’re not careful, we can become completely focused on the dots to the extent that we fail to see the big picture.

Red tape. Bureaucracy. Opposition. Criticism. Leaders who lack vision. Workers who lack initiative. Financial setbacks. These are dots; don’t let them prevent you from focusing on the good things that God has called you to do.

Peter reminded us, “…now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith … may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

All kinds of trials, he says. These include the big problems and the little dots. We need to practice seeing past both, so we can focus on the big picture of God’s work in our lives.


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