Jesus said, “The lamp of the body is the eye. When your eye is good, your whole body is full of light.” Apparently, what you see matters.
Seeing involves both focus and perception. What I focus my attention on makes a tremendous difference. But focus is a tricky thing. When things around me are going well, I like to focus on my good fortune and the fun I’m having. Well and good, as long as we don’t forget where good gifts come from. And when I am in distress, my tendency is to focus on what is causing me all my discomfort. That’s a bit like closing the blinds and turning off the lights in order to try and fix a broken vase. 😉
Either way, we often find it hard to focus. In addition, we need clear perception of what we are focusing on. If we focus on God, but see a judgmental tyrant, our body will be just as dark as if we had not seen Him at all. Someone once said, “The more committed you are to a distorted perception of God, the worse it will be for you.” Dedicated focus is not enough.
One thing that is helpful in clearing our vision is to recognize how we ourselves are involved in the process. We have many examples of this in the psalms and in Acts, especially. In spite of difficult circumstances, they turned their focus toward God and called out to Him. And when they found this difficult, they had friends who helped them, or sometimes they even took one step back and called out to God to help them refocus.
To be sure, none of this is easy when the storm is raging. That is why we need to deliberately practice shifting our focus, day by day, in every context we find ourselves involved in. This is why spiritual practices were developed (assuming we have been trained in how to engage in these in ways that bring life, not drain us). As we train our heart and mind to turn toward God in all things, we will find ourselves more able to do that when life seems to be going all wrong.
Vision matters. My we take a few minutes today to focus on God and allow Him to fill our vision with Light.