“Let us look away from all that will distract and let us look only to Jesus, and keep our eyes fixed only on Jesus who is the Leader and the Source and the Author of our faith and who makes it perfect. He is also its Finisher and brings our faith to maturity and perfection. He completes it.” (Hebrews 12:2)
I wear glasses. I started wearing them in my early twenties when I had trouble seeing upcoming road signs, when watching TV became difficult and when I had trouble seeing people’s faces in the distance. Over time, everything had become slightly blurred. Over the years, I had to gradually increase the strength of my glasses but I still only wore them for watching TV or movies and for driving. Earlier this year when I started working in ICU I realised very quickly that my vision wasn’t as good as I thought it was! When I stood at the end of a patient’s bed and I was unable to read the numbers on the monitors and infusions without squinting, tilting my head to the side and making ridiculous faces, I realised it was probably time to start wearing my glasses every day. And what a difference it has made! Surprise surprise, the daily headaches are gone and I no longer have to guess who is smiling or waving from the other end of the hallway! Best thing is, I don’t have to ask someone what the numbers on the monitors say as I can see them for myself! It’s a funny thing – when I wear my glasses, it’s as if I have perfect 20:20 vision once more.
So, I had this revelation about my physical eyesight, and it got me thinking about my spiritual eyesight.
Why is it then that I am so short sighted when it comes to God’s plan for my life? I think my plans are better and I allow my short sightedness to prevent me from seeing further into the distance – further into the future – further towards the bigger picture and the better plans that God has purposed for my life.
Why is it that I let what is right in front of me distract me from the bigger, better plan that God has for my life? I allow the busyness of my life to crowd out the Source of my life. The more I focus on the things in my life that keep me busy, the less I focus on God. The less I “fix my eyes on Jesus”. I get distracted both by shiny objects that cause me to look away (just for a moment, honest) and then when I turn my attention back to Him, I have just missed out on the incredible moment He had planned for me. I also get distracted by the negatives. I can get so disillusioned and distracted by the things in front of me that sometimes I just choose to sit down and stop. I allow negative things to prevent me from just saying “yes” to God and keep on going towards the bigger, better plans He has for my life.
Why is it that I struggle so hard to keep God’s plan for my life in my vision?
Because I don’t like wearing glasses. And perhaps I need to. Perhaps I need spiritual glasses to give me back my 20:20 vision.
Spiritual glasses might stop me from becoming distracted by the negatives. Spiritual glasses might help me see further into the distance. Spiritual glasses might stop the edges of my life from seeming fuzzy and blurred.
C.S. Lewis reminds me that rather than looking for good things, I should be looking for the Source from which good things come.
As I ponder these thoughts of 20:20 vision and of the need to wear spiritual glasses so that my eyes remain fixed and focused on Jesus, I echo the prayer of Lysa TerKeurst in her book What happens when women say ‘yes’ to God.
“Oh Lord, give me the desire to be too busy looking at You to consider anything but Your plan! Strip away my short and narrow vision to see the wonderful adventure of truly being Your follower.”
Many years ago Tim took a defensive driving course and one of the things that stuck out to him the most was the instructor telling him that wherever you focus your eyes and whatever you focus your vision and attention on, that is the direction you will travel. Apparently there is some ingrained need within humans to focus on something bad (like the tree you don’t want to hit). So, if you’re about to have an accident and you allow your eyes to see the tree, then keep your attention focused on the tree as you are skidding towards it, and ironically the chances are almost 100% that you will hit that tree. Instead, the instructor said, we need to fix our eyes back on the road – divert our attention away from the direction we do not want to travel and back towards the direction we do want to travel.
Today I am putting my glasses back on. I am diverting my eyes away from the negatives and from the busyness that is in front of me. I am shifting my focus. I am fixing my eyes and my attention on Jesus. And where I focus my eyes, that’s where I will travel.
Vision is so much more than just being able to “see”.
It is about being about see clearly.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”. (Proverbs 29:18)
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