It is widely accepted that each of us sees the world through a particular lens, either one that may distort or correct vision. Types of lens might be economic, social, technological, political or cultural but they are forged from our experience of life. Your lens may help you see clearly or it may add in bias and prejudice. Much is said these days about diversity, discrimination and equality – how does that sit with you? Are you filtering what you see through the same lenses you’ve always had or has your world view been challenged and undergone change? The default human condition is to mix with those who reinforce one’s own world view, be that secular or spiritual, but there is another way to see things that is truly better.
- ‘We see the world through the lens of all our experiences; that is a fundamental part of the human condition’ – Madeleine M Kunin
- ‘Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera’ – Yousuf Karsh
- ‘Paradigms are like glasses. When you have incomplete paradigms about yourself or life in general, it's like wearing glasses with the wrong prescription. That lens affects how you see everything else’ – Sean Covey
- ‘We all have mental models: the lens through which we see the world that drive our responses to everything we experience. Being aware of your mental models is key to being objective’ – Elizabeth Thornton
A rhinoceros has such bad vision that it cannot distinguish between a tree and a human at fifteen feet but they charge at 30 mph so it’s wise to keep your distance in case they don’t spot the difference! Other short sighted animals include bats, moles, deep sea fish and bulls but don’t tempt fate as the latter are sensitive to movement, especially if a red rag is involved! Contrasted with this is the eagle that can see a rabbit a mile away, the owl whose eyes are larger than its brain, a chameleon which can swivel its eyes independently and the goat which has 330’ field of vision. Sight for them can be a matter of survival but most human beings just take it for granted until they begin losing it. Apparently, women are better at discerning colour variation than men but the reverse is true for assessing speed!
- ‘Jesus replied, ‘Go back and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me’ – Matthew 11:4-6
Eye sight is fundamental to survival but also for enjoyment of the natural world. The eye weighs 7.5 grams, contains over 2 million ‘working parts’ but only 1/6 is exposed at any one time. Our eyes can focus on up to 50 things in any one second and is the fastest known lens. The eye is also beset with problems of colour blindness (9% of men but 0.4% women), glaucoma, tunnel vision, detached retinas, short and long-sightedness. Over $100 billion is spent on spectacles but there is uncertainty about the origins of optometry with claims ranging for the first ‘glasses’ from India to Italy in the thirteenth century. Apparently it is the brain that does the seeing and the eyes are the receptor ‘video cameras’. Vital for navigation as eyes are, what do they actually see? Probably less that they did the older physically we become but you might hope it would be more spiritually with the years of life experience.
- ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known’ – 1 Corinthians 13:12
- ‘Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true’ – Acts 17:11
- ‘Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight’ – 2 Corinthians 5:6-7
- ‘For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is short-sighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins’ – 2 Peter 1:5-9
It was Elisha who realised that his servant Gehazi wasn’t seeing things straight for it seemed as if they were overwhelmed by opposing forces but… the man of faith Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of Gehazi that he might see more deeply: ‘‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all round Elisha’ – 2 Kings 6:16-17
Would you say that seeing is believing or that believing is seeing? We may put ourselves in another person’s shoes to try to see through their eyes and that can be helpful if we truly are able to be that objective. Walking by faith is to see things deeper than the mere superficial. Do you see the thing in front of you or the One behind it, the creation or the Creator? Are you walking in the deeper way as those who see the glory of God and His purposes all around or in the superficial way which is short term, short-sighted and needing a correction to spiritual blindness?
TAGS – faith, truth, hope, conviction, deceit, certainty, target, goal, race, run