Anxiety filled me as the road ahead disappeared in the glare of approaching lights. It was bad enough that halos danced on the top of light posts, each one merging with the lights of nearby restaurant signs, but to lose sight of everything each time a car approached kept my hands clenched on the steering wheel. It wasn’t that my presence on the road was a danger to others. Driving on high alert made sure of that. But I kept thinking I should have waited until morning to make this trip. My vision is better in the light of day and I usually did most of my driving during those hours. Tonight, however, the anticipation of starting a new journal made the thought of waiting worse than the stressful drive.
Finally, the turn lane to Walmart came into sight. Sighing with relief, I exited the highway and drove across the parking lot, inched into a space, and cut the motor. A few deep breaths relaxed my muscles enough to loosen my grip on the steering wheel. I got out and headed inside for the notebook, pens, and colored pencils I needed to start my inspired journal. I couldn’t fully relax yet, though. I still had to drive back home.
“What can I do about it?” I asked my family and friends over the next few weeks. “It’s bad enough the street signs are too blurry to read, but the halos are downright scary.”
“Squint,” said one.
“Don’t drive at night,” suggested another.
“Nothing,” warned a third. “Astigmatism can’t be cured.”
I knew deep down that I probably needed to see my eye doctor, but to avoid the inconvenience I kept asking people, and the advice kept coming.
“Keep your eyes away from the lights.”
“Get your eyes checked.”
Following these suggestions helped a little and I was able to manage the short, familiar roads on the few nights I needed to shop. But then came my son’s wedding announcement. Driving across seven states in three days meant not only night driving but also navigating unfamiliar roads. I knew it was time to go see the doctor.
After examining my eyes, my eye doctor told me I had only slight astigmatism and adjusted my contact lens prescription. “Try these,” he told me, handing me a sample set of contacts. If you like them, you can order them. There might even be some in stock.”
As I walked out of the office, I stared with amazement at the details I could see from a distance. Now I would be able to read road signs before I got to them which would definitely help me find the right way. But I had to wait a few hours to find out how they would work at night.
When the sun went down, I took a quick five-mile drive. Things weren’t crystal clear, but I could read most signs without problems. And best of all, there were no halos!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
As we travel through life, we may begin to rely more on the familiarity of our steps than on the clarity of our vision. We get used to doing the same things and no longer notice, or care, that our vision isn’t what it was. If we do, we brush off the loss of clarity. We don’t need it.
Until we do.
When life takes a turn and we find ourselves in unchartered territory, we discover that we actually, and often desperately, need clear vision. The glaring lights that overshadow the need to see the road become more than a nuisance. They become dangerous. That’s when we find ourselves sitting in a chair while an ophthalmologist shines a light into our eyes.
Our spiritual walk is much like our physical one. We can find ourselves doing the same things, singing the same songs, going to the same church week after week, year after year. This can result in a familiarity that prevents us from recognizing the decline in our spiritual vision. We lose our ability focus, relying on what we’re accustomed to do rather than on following God’s signs as He calls us to new places. Without clear sight, we are vulnerable to transitory bright lights that overshadow and distract us from the more important things. We can miss what God has for us or get lost on the way.
We usually know deep down that we need to go to God, but find it much easier to get advice from other people. We ask for prayers, listen to sermons, and read books. What we hear ranges from good to bad, effective to worthless. And many times, one person’s advice conflicts with another’s, leaving us confused. However, even with good advice, no matter how helpful, none of it competes with what we’ll get from the only One who can truly correct our vision and provide the clarity we need to get us through challenging times or to new places. That person is Jesus. His Word – the Bible – helps us see clearly. It helps correct any shortcomings in our faith and realign our beliefs. It helps us recognize and see through the halos that blind us. Knowing what we need, Jesus prescribes the perfect scriptures for us to wear. With His Word, we can stay on His path with confidence no matter which way it might turn.
We shouldn’t wait until we find ourselves in the midst of a new adventure before seeking help from Jesus. Even in our routine, everyday lives, sometimes we miss what God wants us to see because it’s been too long since we’ve taken the time to let the light of the Word shine into us.
So, sit down, open your eyes, and let Jesus examine – and correct – your spiritual eyes. You’ll love your new contacts.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to Your precepts]. Ps 119:9 AMP
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. Luke 18:41-43