On Needing Glasses…

eye_charts_and_glasses

For months I wondered if I needed glasses.
I started giving myself little eye exams throughout my day and especially when I was driving.
I knew that “close work” – time at the computer, doing cross-stitch, reading – was becoming an issue.
I considered picking up a pair of “readers” at Wal-Mart.
But it didn’t seem that bad.
And when I was driving, I could read every sign.

On roads I knew.

I discovered that harsh truth when I drove down to Virginia Beach by myself to visit family.
Getting into town was no problem. I knew the route so I never really checked the road signs.
But when I got into the heart of the city and had to know exits?
And then street signs?
On unfamiliar roads?
With heavy traffic?
I discovered that I not only needed glasses – I needed them badly.

In life, I do the same thing.
I merrily drive through life, rarely needing to read the signs because I am on familiar ground.
I know the route, I know the routine.

Until suddenly I don’t.
Tragedy strikes.
A friendship blows up.
The lab report isn’t good.
The phone call is bad news.
A friend needs answers to unanswerable questions.

And suddenly I am on unfamiliar roads.
Squinting.
The signs are fuzzy.
And the traffic is heavy.
Getting lost – or worse – is not only a real possibility, but a strong probability.

And I realize I need glasses.
Desperately.
I need perspective.
I need something to align my vision.
Because I am not nearly as together as I supposed I was.

Those glasses? That perspective?
It is the eternal one.
The one that remembers that this life is temporary, that these horrors won’t last forever.
The one that recalls that every person I meet is created by God, dearly loved by Him and headed for an eternal destination, one of two choices.
The one that is reminded that this life is very short compared to all of eternity.
The one that sets itself “on things above”. (Colossians 1)
The one that says, “I don’t have all the answers – but I know the One who does.”
The one that cries out in groanings to the only One who can fill in the blanks. (Romans 8)

I have to take every problem, every situation, every decision, every thought and align them with God’s Word.
I have to take a giant step back and ask God to give me His perspective on each thing, person, circumstance, decision.
I have to put on the glasses of what I say I believe and actually apply the words to the reality, choosing to trust that His perspective, ways, thoughts and plans are better than my own.

When I was driving in Virginia Beach, I desperately needed the glasses that would correct my vision.
The problem was, they were still at the eye doctor’s office, waiting to be prescribed.
When my life is suddenly rerouted onto different, unfamiliar and uncomfortable roads, I desperately need the Truth of God’s Word to correct my perspective.
The problem comes when it is still on the shelf, waiting to be read and applied.

My glasses only correct my vision when I wear them.
God’s Word only speaks when I take it in and apply it.

And, just like I need my glasses every day, even when the route is familiar, I need God’s Word every day, even when life is going well.
I need an eternal perspective for the good times as well as the bad.
I need a rich life in the Word of God every day – not just when life gets fuzzy.
Because I have come to find that my vision is always flawed, even in my most familiar and comfortable surroundings.
And I have the “glasses” that I need to correct my perspective every single day.
The question is, am I wearing them?
Or are they sitting on a shelf?

 
*A special note: If you want to get into God’s Word but are having trouble or don’t know where to begin, I have some suggestions for you.
– I love the One Year Bible. You can pick up a hard copy or put it on a reading device. You can also find it online at http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com . You can pick the translation to read it in when you do it online – a different one each day if you would like! You can also put two translations next to each other to help you to get a fuller picture of what it is saying. I like the New Living Translation and the New International Version – but you could try the Contemporary English Version or The Message for the Word in very modern language.
– I also love a book by Stephen M. Miller called “How to Get Into the Bible”. It sets up every book of the Bible like a movie review, giving you the plot, the main characters, the setting, etc. It also shows you where that book fits in the timeline of the Bible AND world events. A terrific resource to help you to understand what you are reading!
– Still not sure where to start? The Book of John is an awesome place to begin. Try setting aside just five minutes a day to read. As you read, ask God to show you what He wants you to see and for the grace to apply it to your life. After John, head for Romans, another great place to start. The awesome thing is that God will bring what you read back to mind as you need it throughout the day.

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