Monday, September 10, 2007

How Are You Seeing Things?

I've been a little smug about my 20/20 reading vision (my distance vision is about 20/400, so I needed to feel good about something). But the recent blurring of books in a certain light and my inability to easily read the dosing chart for Children's Motrin suggested my days of perfect close-up vision are over. A recent trip to the eye doctor confirmed that I now need correction for reading.

Todd got bi-focals a couple years ago. He opted for the newer "progressive" lenses without the traditional "granny line." But he had some real adjustment problems. "I'm seeing things through a fishbowl," he remarked. Despite Todd's experience, I figured this was probably the best choice for me, too. But I wasn't looking forward to the break-in period, that's for sure.

To my delight, I experienced a seamless transition. Things in the distance looked clear. Things up close looked sharp. I opted for a super lightweight, rimless frame. It was like not having glasses at all. I was thrilled!

Then on Friday night while visiting a friend, I bent down to look at some family photos on a coffee table and suddenly had this sensation of being on a boat that was rocking back and forth. Am I moving, I wondered? Is the room moving? In reality, I was standing still in a static amd stable environment. But my eyes caught some part of the new lens that upset my equilibrium. I felt slightly dizzy and at the mercy of this strange swaying motion.

The distortion in my vision destabilized me. I stood there for a few moments afraid to move because I didn't know what was really happening around me. And I knew I couldn't trust what I was seeing.

The "blurred vision" that affects Christians.

Wouldn't it be so much easier if, in our lives, we always knew that we could trust what we see and hear. That truth was always evident and crystal clear. Think of all the problems we would sidestep if we have the benefit of knowing whether or not certain decisions were good ones based not upon what we feel but upon what is real. But like the distortion I experienced with my new eyeglasses, the faulty lens with which we process information in our lives has a similar destabilizing effect.

What does Scripture say?

I find myself continually seeking the counsel of Scripture, leaning heavily on the truth that God has graciously given us in writing. What a great time to be a student of the Bible, what with all the tools we have to bore into and better understand the gracious provision of ancient words and their timeless, living relevance to our lives today. There are Key Word dictionaries and wonderful resources on Bible commentary. Not to mention a wide open world of possibilities for research through reliable sites on the Internet like crosswalk.com or netbible@bible.org.

What would Jesus do?

I also look to the model that Scripture puts forth of Jesus Christ. The WWJD bracelet fad has come and perhaps all but gone. But I like the heart of this quest and I'm grateful for its impact on my thinking as I wrestle with all kinds of decisions today. I do think about what Jesus would do. I'd like to say I always do the right thing; I don't. But I do make better decisions more often by considering first the model put forth by Christ.

So why don't I always see things clearly?

So, if I'm consistently processing decisions through the filter of Scripture and thinking about what Christ might do, I should be a model for my faith. I will have challenges and sufferings like everyone else, but my response to life will look very different. Rather than rocking back and forth in a state of imbalance like I experienced with my new glasses, I will be standing on unshakable ground. I will see things as they really are. I will stand tall and strong like a redwood tree amidst the thin saplings that bend and bow at the whim of the wind.

Always.

If only it were that easy...

Coming Soon: Emotions... comparisons... pessimism... three faulty lenses that can destabilize us.

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