Tag Archives: missing-the-forest-for-the-trees

Overlooking the Obvious

I can take no credit for the following story.  It’s been around for many years and a guest speaker at church repeated it recently.  It is a great example, however, of how we can get so rapped up in what we are doing that we “miss the forest for the trees.”

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”
Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”
What does that tell you?” Holmes asked.
Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?”
Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke.  “Watson, you idiot.  Somebody has stolen our tent!”


May this story be a reminder to us all to pay attention to the details but to also look at the bigger picture of what is going on around us.