It was late Wednesday night. We  just arrived to the Relevant conference. 7 hours of travel. We were excited, nervous, and tired!

We were sitting around a table and I figured it was a perfect time for a photo op. So I set up my camera and self-timer, gathered everyone around and hit the button. I ran to my place but just as the camera snapped, my head went straight in front of my friend Janelle’s. We laughed and laughed and prepared for another shot. I went back to the camera, confirmed that my head did indeed block hers and set it up again.


Photo shot #2.. Snapped the button. Ran to my spot (made sure I didn’t block out Janelle with my big head) and voila! The shot was taken. Just as I was getting ready to shout with excitement that we were done, Ruth exclaimed, “But what about that water bottle?!”

I turned and looked and right in front of the camera was a half-filled water bottle. I reviewed the shot and yes, indeed, the water bottle was the main focus of the shot. You could barely see us! We howled and howled. There were 6 of us and none of us noticed it!

Here’s the kicker. You guessed it. That same water bottle was in snapshot 1. I never even noticed it when I came back (and reviewed that shot) and set up for the second shot. My stomach hurt so bad from laughing. We all enjoyed that but as I processed that scene, I thought of something a little deeper.

How many times do we miss “the water bottles” in our lives? How many times have we had our focus so far ahead that we are forgetting what is right in front of us?

(I realize that sometimes we do the opposite. We tend to focus on what’s right in front of us instead of the big picture. I’ve done both!)

It took someone to shout out, “But what about the water bottle?!” for my focus to be broken and realigned.

“You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;
your ears are open, but you do not listen.” Isaiah 42:20

Today I want you to consider what God may be placing right in front of you that is screaming, “HERE I AM. PAY ATTENTION!”

♦ Could it be the weight on the scale creeping higher and higher?

♦ An attitude of resentment towards your husband that is digging deeper and deeper?

♦ An opportunity to serve your church or community that has been sitting void for months and months?

♦ A behavior that your teenage son is displaying that is screaming, “Help me!”?

♦ God calling you to trust Him with your life and decisions?

Is there someone speaking truth in your life that you are (intentionally or not) ignoring? Take some time right now and ask God if there is something as plain as day as that water bottle that you are missing because your focus is too far ahead. He will reveal it! And when He does, act upon it!

"But what about the water bottle": A lesson in missing what's smack dab in front of you |


Have you ever had a “water bottle” moment that you’d like to share?