Learning To Be Near Sighted
By: Kristen L. McNulty
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Often life throws very messy things in our paths. Destinies that we would have never chosen for ourselves, but exist nonetheless. When this happens it's very easy to develop a woe is me attitude. People who become so obsessed over the pain in our lives that we think that we have it worse than everyone else and nothing will ever be good again.
When this happens a small tragedy turns into a much greater one. Because instead of addressing the pain head on and dealing with it, we let it eat us alive and in our minds it grows everyday. Like Ehore, we walk around with a cloud over our heads and are never able to see the sunshine that is right in front of us.
In his play "As You Like It" Shakespeare wrote "How bitter a thing is it to look into happiness through another man's eyes!" When we don't appreciate what God has given us, even in the midst of seasons of trials, that is exactly what happens. We think everyone else has it made and the only way we can see God is by looking at it through the life of someone else, which leads us down a road of bitterness and resentment.
So how do we break this cycle? How can we let what comes into our lives not consume us whole? I believe it comes with learning to be near sighted. When we let the pain blind us to what is right before us, we can never fully learn to appreciate the good that there still can be found in life. But when we see the blessings that exist all around us, something in us changes. Where once we only saw darkness, we suddenly are able to see rays of light all around us
As William James wrote "Men can alter their lives by altering their attitudes". There is great truth in that statement. When we learn to have an attitude of gratitude suddenly life doesn't look so bad. While we may be overwhelmed with pain on the one side, on the other we're able to stop and smell the roses. We can open our eyes to the beauty of a sunrise and the joy that can be found in the company of friends. By recognizing and being thankful for these things, we put pain in its proper perspective. Not as something that consumes, but rather something that comes to occupy a corner of our lives for a season.
And seasons change. Where one day may look like nothing but blizzards, spring does come into our lives again. Maybe sometimes only for a moment, but it's there when we look close enough.
So ask God to re-adjust your vision. Let Him open your eyes to the beauty and life that exists all around you. In creation, in the people that you love, in the wonder of life. And when you get a glimpse of these things, stop and take the time to enjoy them. When you do this you still will feel the pain, but it is not a be all and end all. Where it still hurts, it doesn't destroy leaving us to still enjoy the wonder that can be found even in the ordinary.
This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.