It’s so easy to take eyesight for granted. We open our eyes in the morning and images appear before us. It’s as regular as the sunrise. That’s why the above meme quote caught my attention. Those visual images aren’t forced on me. Eyesight is a choice. I choose where to focus my eyes.
I like to play a wood block puzzle on my IPAD. I play it every day. There’s a problem, however. Focusing on Wood Block Puzzle for long stretches gives me a headache. My eyes get dry and tired. And every time I wonder, why did I waste my fragile eye energy on this stupid game?
When a torn retina diminished the little vision I had in my left eye, I realized just how fragile and temporary eyesight can be. During surgery to repair the torn retina, the surgeon took the risk to fix other damage left from previous eye surgeries, and I ended up with better vision than I’ve ever had in my lifetime. Vision became even more precious.
I realize I’ve missed out on so much and I don’t have many more years of life left to enjoy the new vision God has given me. Life has become a quest to check off a long bucket list of all the things I want to see for the first time.
And then I go and play stupid computer games. Despite the increased visual acuity, my vision is still limited and my eyes still fragile. Excessive computer activity causes increased eyestrain and eye jitters from this condition I have called nystagmus. The jittering makes it harder to concentrate on seeing my world which leads to blurred vision and more eye fatigue.
Choice leads to consequences.
We choose to see what we see. We choose to do what we do. Choice means we give up one thing to have another. The visual stakes are higher for me. I have to decide every day how I choose to use my visual energy, well aware that the prioritizing demands a trade-off.
Perhaps I’m not so different from anyone else. Visual images entice all of us to linger, ponder, and mentally engage with what we see. We make choices every day of how we will use our eyes and minds.
Where is your focus?
We can choose to see:
- A computer game or a cloud formation
- Death and destruction depicted on a movie or the real live hurt of a human being.
- The negative details or the good of the bigger picture
- The evil of the world or the goodness of God
- Problems of the present or hope in the eternal.
- Evidence that the world is breaking down or reminders that God is in control.
How do we choose to see what God sees?
I haven’t been able to see many of the big items on my bucket list, but as I began to survey the world around me, I found beauty and delight in the smallest and most ordinary things. So I chose to focus on life moments and visual objects I had previously slid over.
When I chose to concentrate on the wonders of creation, I found:
- Beauty in the ordinary
- Design in the dirty.
- Detail in the nondescript.
And when I chose to see people the way the Bible instructs me to see them, I saw,
- The goodness of the inner heart rather than the flaws of the outer appearance
- Hurting people who needed a cup of mercy instead of a slap of criticism.
- The potential of people the rest of the world would prefer to pass over.
Focus on the need.
A Walmart line was particularly slow. From the vantage point of three customers back, it seemed the lockdown was due to a large order. When it came our turn to stand at the cash register, Preacher Creature and I realized the problem. Our cashier reached for each item about three times slower than other cashiers. She methodically turned over items to scan the barcode, moving as if each turn of her wrist took complete concentration.
My feet hurt. I could feel Preacher Creature’s back pain. Irritation simmered. But I stopped and looked closer. Something was not normal. Suspecting some detail I couldn’t see, I said to Preacher Creature as we left the store, “Was our clerk not feeling well or did she have issues?”
“She wasn’t feeling well,” P.C. said. “I could see it in her eyes.”
Eyesight is a gift. Use it well.
How can you make wise choices of where to focus your eyes? Stop, look, ponder, and question. Ask the Lord each morning, “How do you want me to use my eyes today?”
- Look up and see Jesus.
- Look out and see what God has made.
- Look around and see others as people God loves as much as He loves you.
Eyesight is such a precious gift. And God has wonderful treasures He wants to share with us. Let’s spend our efforts, you and I, to use His gift of eyesight to focus on what He has waiting for us to see.
Karen’s amazing story of seeing the world with new eyesight in coming out in book form, in Fall, 2021, published by Kregel Publishing Watch this space for updates.