My world had shifted from clear and crisp to blurry and blended, and I hadn’t bothered to make it better Or I hadn’t until a few weeks ago when I finally visited the optometrist.
According to the doctor, I barely passed enough to drive without glasses. I knew I couldn’t read the signs anymore or distinguish objects too far in front of me, but I just lived with it, compensated where I could. I’m getting older, so some things you just accept. They can’t be changed.
I got glasses, and wow! I hadn’t realized all I’d been missing.
In my office, I sit by a window overlooking the Severn River as it feeds into the Chesapeake Bay. Tall masts boasting billowing sails find their way to the open waters right in front of me, but I only saw blurry white against blankets of blue. Now, I see the curl of the sails dancing in the wind and the chop of the water as the boat carves a path.
It was like moving from black and white to technicolor or breathing fresh air after retreating from a smoke-filled room.
How could I have settled for the status quo when something so much better awaited me?
But we do that in so many ways, don’t we? We settle for blurry in our jobs, our relationships, our dreams. We make the assumption this is how it is, and we can’t change it. The walls of the box set the limits, and we accept those restraints like some gospel truth from an unfeeling universe, forgetting that sometimes change is as simple as making a choice, taking a step, or putting on a pair of glasses.
The key, I suppose, is figuring out what things we’re accepting and what things we can change. However, I wonder if we can’t affect some change in all things if we would just open our eyes and try.
Not that any of this is easy, but maybe we dismiss the simple acts too quickly. Perhaps changed doesn’t begin with grandiose actions and big decisions. Perhaps change begins in the details.
Maybe the very first step is admitting you don’t like where you are and allowing yourself to hope things can be different.
I believe in God. Not just any God, not an unknowable, faraway depiction of power to make me feel better about life. I believe in the loving creator of the universe who loved me so much he died to pay my cosmic debt, and he conquered death, mediocrity, and evil. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
I want the full life—the one where I see the truth and don’t settle for the lie. I believe God helps us have that kind of life, but he doesn’t force it upon us.
If we choose to accept where we are and live in a blurry world, then that’s where we’ll be. But if we allow ourselves to think differently—to hope for something better—then God can do all kinds of things. Romans 12:2 urges us “to not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Conforming to the pattern of this world is to accept the blurry, misrepresentations of life. But God wants more for us, a transformation—a change in us that overflows with life and an intimate, powerful, and love-filled relationship with him—the almighty God of the universe.
When our faith in God leads us to steps of change, then we move from the blurry life of the box to the open, focused-filled life he has planned for us. We become more than warriors. “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”