but, before i elaborate on that unfortunate situation, let me back up a few decades, because the story really begins there.
i think i was 11 or 12 when it became clear that glasses were necessary. i was excited for about one month. because, after all, when you're 11 or 12 it's fun to have something new or different. it's fun to be special.
funny how all that changes by age 13 -- that magic age of wanting just to be normal. average. ordinary. sometimes, even a little invisible.
because when i crossed into the not-so-sacred-place called teenager, i was sporting not only spectacles, but had also added to my facial landscape some good-old-fashioned acne. i'm not going to lie, it was a little rough for a while.
thankfully though, that was the time when the farah fawcett hairstyle hit the scene and i was able to turn all my teenage beauty angst into creating the perfect feathered, not to mention massive, locks. it took up quite a bit of my time. leaving me fewer minutes to dwell (obsess, really) over my skin and eyesight issues.
plus, i realized there was a silver lining to my lack of vision. if i took off my glasses before looking into the mirror, the acne sort of disappeared a little. the blemishes softened and i was instantaneously airbrushed.
yes, you can just imagine the pathetic teen girl staring (for hours) into the mirror at her fuzzy, pre-pubescent face.
in 2 corinthians 5:7 paul instructs us to "live by faith, not by sight." but he wasn't talking about the insecure girl who chose to walk around sometimes without her glasses. he wasn't talking about the vain teenager gazing into the bathroom mirror and liking better the blurry version of herself.
he isn't talking about that, but he is encouraging us to take our eyes off the temporal things - the little things we like to stare hard at which get in the way of the big picture. the acne went away (for the most part). and the glasses (thank heavens) got replaced with contact lenses.
those things were temporary.
but, for a period of time, i made a really big deal about them.
like i said earlier --- i obsessed. in my defense, it's kind of what teenage girls, on occasion, are prone to do. you understand...
but, looking back, it is clear (at least now it is clear) i wasn't looking at the bigger picture of what God was doing in my life. at 13 and 14 i wasn't seeing much of anything with spiritual eyes, but instead, was scrutinizing and agonizing with my self-focused, earthly eyes.
now, i'm not recommending that we walk around half-blind. whether you're a teenager dealing with acne or a middle-aged woman dealing with wrinkles, i'll never encourage you to forego your glasses. you might not see the blemish or the wrinkle, but chances are, you'll also miss a few other key things ... like the door or the curb or (heaven forbid) the exit ramp.
i'm not suggesting we go blind, but i do want to challenge us to go better -- to choose our spiritual eyes.
we can focus with our earthly lenses on the little things in life, or we can back up a bit and focus with our faith.
when we don't choose the big picture through the perfect lens of Jesus, all we are left with is the small stuff through the flawed lens of ourselves. and friends, it's limited. and it's exactly why we can't get around the nitty-gritty details of our day. it's why we spin our wheels and worry and work and clamor and clutch hard at the insignificant stuff.
we are only seeing what's in front of our faces. we are focused not on faith in Him, but on our infatuation with our world.
i'm about to turn 45, and guess what? my eyesight hasn't improved!
in fact, where i was only near sighted at age 13, i am now neither near sighted nor far sighted. basically i am no sighted. kind of depressing if i think too much about it. now days, if i want to wear my contact lenses, i have to also keep handy my new, snazzy "readers" for the small print or detail. i know y'all are thinking "good grief, go get some lasik surgery, jody!"
someday, my eyes will be whole and my sight will be perfect. right now though, i struggle. i go back and forth between obsessing over the earthly things and striving to see the eternal.
when Jesus comes into our lives, He brings with Him new vision -- a new way of looking at life -- brand spanking new perspective! the bible tells us He literally gives us new sight!
"then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly." ~mark 8:25
but keep in mind, it's a process. we have new sight, but, because we are still sinful, we don't always choose to use our new vision. we still struggle with our natural instinct to rely on our own weak eyes. there's just something still in us that longs to look at the little stuff...even the stupid stuff.
"so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 corinthians 4:18but wait a minute, that's nice and everything, but how do we do this?
"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." ~ hebrews 12:2we look to Jesus. when we find ourselves focusing on the ugly details of the day -- whether it be acne or those little annoyances -- we need to take off our earthly glasses and "look unto Jesus." not because He doesn't want us to see our sin, but because He wants more for us to see our Savior's face.
turn your eyes upon Jesus,
look full in His wonderful face
and the things of this world
will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace.
Jesus, we long to see you. in the midst of this week, in the mess of our lives, in the middle of the mundane ... help us to put aside our earthly eyes. this limited vision which trip us up and keep us from focusing on your greater good. Lord, thank you for the new sight you've already given ... help us to put on our spiritual glasses in all things. we want to see clearly with the eyes of you, Jesus. a-men.