I bought some readers and would sneak them out in church or wear them in the privacy of my home. I wasn’t necessarily embarrassed of them, and I don’t mind looking obviously in my forties, but they were kind of annoying. Finding them, keeping them in my purse or near my bedside or in my office. Just not ideal. The past few months my eye sight has gotten worse, for sure. I would hold my phone out, then back closer, then back out some more—unsure of what distance away from my eyes allowed for the best sight. 

I scheduled an appointment at the cutest and most savvy spec shop in town. I have loved getting to know the young optomologist and her lovely and knowledgable staff. She told me, again, that my near-sight vision was failing me and assured me this is completely normal—inevitable even. As one ages, the lenses of the eye get more rigid and less flexible, causing vision challenges. She told me “my type” were the most challenged by wearing glasses, seeing how we have lived four decades without a thought of them. Eye sight being awesome when you’re younger just makes the adjustment later a bit more difficult. But I told her I was ready to do something to help my vision. I read books often, and I am on my phone and laptop frequently. I was tired of the readers, but more tired of not being able to see what I wanted to see!

She presented me with another option—one contact lens. She said I could have monovision. My dominant eye would be used for seeing in the distance, and my non-dominant eye would be used for upclose things. Over time, my brain would adjust and allow my eyes to work together to give me a cohesive realm of vision, but each eye would be doing different things. The body is amazing.

So out of the office I went with my sample of contact lenses to try. It was a little wonky at first. Each day got slightly better. Seeing while reading books is totally back to normal. Seeing well while driving has been the most challenging to get used to—especially at night (I never feel more like my Meme than when I complain about not being able to drive past dark. Well, also when I drink coffee after 2:00 in the afternoon).

I’ve thought about this monovision a lot lately, obviously. Marveling at seeing upclose and seeing in the distance, grappling with the process, and thinking about how my brain is processing this change. The Christian life is a lot like wearing one contact. I have all kinds of every day, up close things to do. As simple as waking up in the morning and as complicated as getting my dog to quit barking at my neighbor’s dog through the fence. There are clothes to wash and there is dinner to cook, emails to send, workouts to complete, teeth to brush. Upclose, everyday decisions that have to be made. Some of these upclose decisions require a little extra thought, but for the most part, I am making the decisions or going through the motions pretty effortlessly. Day after day after day. There is also the layer of near sightedness that narrows my view to me, myself, and I. This is an exhausting way of looking at life. And just like after I have been using my left eye to focus on things near my face and then change to focus on something farther away, life gets blurry and it takes a good bit of time to reacclamate to the larger world around me after a season of being self-absorbed.

It’s a challenge to keep the long-view in mind as we walk this broken planet. I Peter 4 says “The end is near…” This little phrase caught my attention as my left eye focused on the words one morning in my time with the Lord. The end seems like it’s a far distance away, but God’s Word says it’s near.  As a believer we have to consider the “end”—ultimately heaven and Jesus—in light of what is actually “near,” our every day, in-your-face life. We must live like the end is near.

How do we stay balanced? How do we train our brain to keep both distances in mind? How do we zoom in on the day-to-day living AND zoom out to see God’s bigger picture of what truly matters for all of eternity? Zoom in on our own hearts AND zoom out to see how we can love others and grow God’s Kingdom? Zoom in on the dishes while at the same time zooming out to see how God is using my mundane mom-tasks to draw me closer to Him? Zoom in on our kid’s bad grade AND zoom out to remember that God has a bigger plan and purpose for their lives that reaches way beyong a number on a paper? Zoom in on a communication issue in our marriage AND at the same time zoom out to see that God wants to help us get through this season and allow our marriage to go the distance? Zoom in on our errands for the day and be productive AND at the same time zoom out to look people in the eyes, speak an encouraging word, hold the door open for a mom who has her hands full, or smile at a stranger who needs to know someone sees them? 

The answer is found in Hebrews 12:2 “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

He is our perfect example of taking the long view and the One who gives us the spiritual vision we need for our daily lives.

“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 nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” {2 Peter 1:5-9}

G. Campbell Morgan says about verse 9 and the man who is near sighted, “Such a man sees the things of time and fails to discern those of eternity; he sees the material facts, but not the facts of which they are but passing expression; in short, he sees himself and his fellow men, but not God…making spiritual advancement impossible…That is to say, he has failed to respond to all the enlargement of life and vision which came to him when he received the cleansing of his nature at the very beginning of the Christian life.”

LORD, Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. {Psalm 119:18}

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