To be honest, I can’t see much of anything without my glasses. Sure, I’ve memorized the path to the sink, so that I can get a cup of water at night, and I can make out basic shapes and colors. Even though I will sometimes look at people who are talking with me while I’m cleaning my glasses, I hope that they realize that they just look like a soggy blur to me at that time (and that I’m not really making eye contact).
I also realize that even with my lousy vision, there are those who struggle even more with their eyesight, and I can’t imagine that challenge. On the other side of the spectrum, though, are those who can see perfectly without corrective lenses.
Even if you have been blessed with the ability to see pretty well in the physical world, let’s take a look at what our spiritual and personal lives can look like if we suffer from a lack of clear and balanced vision.
To categorize a couple of spiritual conditions, consider two physical diagnoses that fall in-between perfect vision and general astigmatism: In each of these cases, someone can actually see pretty clearly in some cases, but not others.
The first case is nearsightedness, or “myopia”. I used to have this condition, before even my close-range vision decayed. Here, things that are close up are clear, but anything beyond a certain distance goes blurry.
In our Christian walk, the things that are right in front of us clamor for our attention. If you’re a parent of young children, this is true in a very literal sense. If you tend crops, a look out at the fields brings them to the front of your mind. Whether your friends contact you on a screen, a phone, or in-person, those relationships are difficult to ignore. And, countless other responsibilities, demands, needs, and noises consume our near-term field of attention.
However, followers of Jesus must remain aware of the bigger picture that He has described. The Kingdom of Heaven that He taught about was more than just getting by. There were clearly long-term investments to be made on earth, so that greater things would be achieved through good decisions and patience. The parable of the talents (or, as I like how the NIV heading says, “bags of gold”) talks about investing over time (see Matthew 25:14-30). The seed sown in the parable of the sower (or soils) didn’t grow immediately (see Matthew 13:1-9). Even Paul talked about different steps in the developing maturity of a believer (see 1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
So, while Christians have plenty of daily responsibilities, we must not miss out on the eternal perspective. History shows us how God’s plans span years, decades, and even centuries. Even more than that, there is an eternal domain that we must prepare for. Much in our world will vanish when the new Heaven and the new Earth move in, but certain choices that we make will persist to eternity.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 NASB
So, invest in telling people about Jesus, and give them the opportunity to receive eternal life. And, while God gives you opportunity, invest in your relationship with Him, if only to get some practice in for worshiping Him.
In Part 2 of this article, let’s take a look at another possible problem with our spiritual vision.