My·o·pia : noun : 1) a condition in which the visual images come to a focus in front of the retina of the eye resulting especially in defective vision of distant objects 2) a lack of foresight or discernment : a narrow view of something
Myopic, the adjectival derivative, is one of my favorite words. Maybe, partially, because I am literally myopic and must wear corrective lenses of some kind or another. And as the theme of revelation and sight have been on my mind lately, this word and its implication figuratively and spiritually.
I struggle with myopia in my lack of contentment. I can see only that which is right in front of me so that the larger picture is distored, blurry. I lose sight of the future--the distance--thinking this is all I have. Sippy cups and temper tantrums, weeds and dust bunnies, sin and sadness. I choose to have a "narrow view" instead of seeing the glorious goal I'm working towards. I focus instead on the disappointments and the failures instead of growth and potential.
But I can also tend to look past the here-and-now and be discouraged about my present situation that I don't see clearly what is before me: opportunity, blessings, needs, love.
On Sunday, Orangewood's founding pastor, Chuck Green, preached on being afflicted, using Paul's "thorn" as his text. He theorizes that Paul's ailment was likely physical and perhaps involved his eyes, a remnant from the "something like scales" that covered his eyes after his roadside encounter with Jesus. (Paul writes about using large letters so that his original readers would know that he was the one writing.) Paul says in 1st Corinthians that his thorn was given to him to humble him so that in his weaknesses, Christ would be exalted. What if Paul was afflicted with a bit of a scale to remind him of how much he used to cling to his own accomplishments and heritage but how misguided he had been before God changed his heart?
Sally Lloyd-Jones, the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible, titled Paul's conversion story, "A New Way to See." She writes: "Saul was blind for three whole days--and yet it was as if he was seeing for the very first time." When Saul's sight is restored, he sees everything differently.
Scripture if full of metaphors of sight and eyes. Paul defines faith as being certain of what we do not see. R and I had this conversation yesterday regarding Noah. She asked why the other people were laughing at Noah in the illustration of the book we were reading. Without having seen rain, a storm, or an ocean, Noah obeyed God, regardless of how others saw him. He focused on the task before him, fixed his eyes on his God.
My eyes need to be focused on Him alone. I may not see far. Somethings may still be fuzzy or unclear, but He is to be my vision.
And for anyone who's curious, the opposite of myopia (shortsightedness) is hyperopia (farsightedness). See ya!