It is a new year – it’s a new decade even. Happy New Year!
Because it’s a new year, it seems natural that I would write about goal setting. Many of us during this time are pausing, evaluating and planning for this next year. I could definitely write about how to create and keep New Year’s resolutions. I’m actually really good at setting goals and following through on them. But I have a feeling that you will hear a lot about that over the next few months. Instead, I want to invite you to join me as I unpack one of my personal goals for this coming year.
I want to see more clearly. I want to have 20/20 vision.
I want to see God more clearly. I want to be confident as I hear God’s voice. I want to see him as he is moving in our midst. I want to have assurance in where he is guiding me and be bold as I follow him. I want to let go of the crafted image of God I have created. I want to see him for who he really is.
I want to see people with more clarity. I want to walk in people’s shoes and see life from their perspectives. I want to listen well. I want to be quick to respond with grace and be slow to judge. I want to see the big picture. I want to see people as God sees them – as his image bearers.
I want to see myself more clearly. I want to have a greater awareness of what I say and how my words affect other people. I want to recognize the areas where I need to change. I want to notice when and where I need to stake my claim. I want to be humble enough to remember who I belong to and out of that sense of belonging – act in faith.
I want to see more clearly because what I see drives what I do.
None of us, myself included, ever fully see God for who he really is. To varying degrees, without realizing it, we all have created our own version of God. We invent a God that makes sense to us and our world. We create a God with similar characteristics to those around us who represent God to us. When the God we have fabricated is challenged, we lose our footing. Only when we can see God for who he is can we walk securely on rocky ground.
We can say the same about the people around us. I have learned that no one is usually as good as they seem and on the flip side-no one is as bad as I think. We get a small glimpse of who people really are. No matter how deeply you know someone, we will never get the full picture of who they are. The reason? Because our lenses are smudged. We see people and the world around us from behind our lenses. Our lenses are smudged with judgement, expectations and assumptions-whether good or bad.
We don’t see ourselves clearly either. Often times we are blinded by pride and think too highly of ourselves. If we aren’t blinded by pride, we are stifled by guilt and shame. What we see in the mirror is clouded by lies we have believed in the past, words spoken over us that we have internalized and/or expectations of who we are supposed to be.
I don’t want to see the world like that anymore. I want to have 20/20 vision. In order to do that I need to clean my lenses – I need to get rid of a few smudges.
No one has 20/20 vision, we all have blind spots. Where are your blind spots? Do you find yourself disappointed with God? If you are honest, has God started to resemble someone that makes sense to you, not necessarily who he really is? What about your people? Who is it that gets under your skin? Who are you quick to judge and slow to extend grace to? Who do you struggle to see from their perspective? How do you see yourself? Has your success made you overly confident? Are you tethered to your past by guilt and shame?
Surprisingly, the bible has a lot of say about both physical and spiritual blindness. As I did some research, I found several references. One stuck out to me. We are warned of the importance of our spiritual sight in Matthew 6:23. It states “but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
Based on that verse, clear vision seems important. So how do we get 20/20 vision? Join me this month as we explore ways that we can clean our lenses and see more clearly. I’m on this journey with you. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I am sure of where we need to start – we need to pray. We need to ask God where our blind spots are. We need to ask God to help us clean our lenses. He has come to open the ears of the deaf and open the eyes of the blind. Psalm 146: 8 reminds us that “the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.”
This week start by praying. Humbly go before him and ask him where your blind spots are. Ask him to open your ears and to open your eyes. Surrender your ideas, assumptions and expectations about him, others and yourself. He will meet you there, we just need to be ready.
Join me and let’s seek 20/20 vision together,