Skip to main content

Scope this out...

It began one way, but ended another. Is that the story of your life? It goes without saying that "hindsight" is often much better than "foresight". If we could see how everything would turn out in the end, we might not take some of the steps we take along the way. If we had insight into the outcomes of some of our words and actions, we might speak up or volunteer more often as we'd want to have a positive impact in our world. The simple truth is that we don't know how things will end - - and this often keeps us from acting in the first place. Sometimes our action ends up being more like us acting in "blindness" - we just move ahead, groping at whatever we can to avoid stumbling, and hoping to make it to our destination in the end.

I can see now, God, that your decisions are right; your testing has taught me what's true and right. Oh, love me—and right now—hold me tight, just the way you promised. Now comfort me so I can live, really live; your revelation is the tune I dance to. (Psalm 119:75-77)

Hindsight is the recognition of the realities, possibilities, or requirements of a decision AFTER it occurs. It is this idea of hindsight that caused us to coin the phrase, "Monday Morning Quarterbacking". We can call all the right moves NOW, knowing when to run the ball or when to pass it, simply because we know the OUTCOME of the passes or runs we already chose! In the field I am in, I spend time investigating outcomes of care - - was it successful, did we follow our protocols, did the treatment planned result in the best outcomes for the patient? In other words, I am doing a whole lot of Monday Morning Quarterbacking! Yet, a great deal of my job has to do with just the opposite - foresight.

Foresight is knowledge or insight gained by looking forward into the future. Most of us don't have crystal balls that magically help us to 'see the future'. Foresight suggests the act of looking FORWARD, not just at what has happened, but at will happen if we take various actions. We may not fully grasp the things we behold, but in the FORWARD look we get some insight that causes us to take various actions that are likely a little more 'planned' or 'ordered'. Some believe that foresight involves a whole lot of faith because you are constantly stepping out into the unknown. I guess that might be true, but we must never forget that nothing is unknown to God and he leads our steps.

To the one who surveys land and parcels it off, the term "foresight" is used to describe a reading taken on a point of unknown elevation. There are two types of readings that are taken - - intermediate and true. The intermediate reading focuses on a point that will NOT be used as a turning point or benchmark in the process. The true reading focuses on an UNKNOWN point that WILL be used for a turning point or a benchmark. The turning point is a point along the way that is established as a benchmark. The true purpose of that mark is to provide a new reference point - - like a stake in the ground. In the use of both the BACK-SIGHT (hindsight) and the FORE-SIGHT, the surveyor is able to determine the elevation of what he is observing. That small point in the scope marked as a turning point (benchmark) is simply a temporary focus point. This benchmark is used to focus on the next point, and that one on the next, and so on. That 'hash-mark' in the little scope he uses does a whole lot more than we ever imagined!

The two "sights" have to be used together in order to get a true measure of the elevation! The same is true in our daily walk. We can determine our "elevation" by the "hindsight" and the "foresight" readings we take in life! We may determine that we are making progress toward higher "elevations", or we might just find that we have come to a valley of some sort. Either way, those "points" are analyzed with the use of both "sights". In "looking back" and in also considering what "lays ahead", we begin to see the wisdom of God's ways. Learn to use both "sights" to guide your walk. The challenge for us comes in learning to not rely on one without the other! Both serve a purpose and keep us on target. One without the other gives us a false sense of "reality". So, don't be afraid of "looking back" on occasion to get your "reference point". Those benchmarks along the way are not put there to point out where we have been, but to ensure us that we have an accurate view of the heights that lay ahead! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Your full attention, please

My mother frequently uses the term "Listen to me!" as a way of getting my attention so that I actually stop, pay close attention, and hear out whatever her idea or issue is at the moment. It isn't always at the most convenient moment, nor is it always easy for her to get out whatever it is she wants to share. Yet, it is important enough for her to ask to for me to hear it, so I respond with, "I'm listening, mom", and she begins.  It isn't said in anger or in a moment of disappointment. Rather, these words are usually spoken in a "sing-song" manner, but with very specific intent - they are intended to get me to REALLY listen to what she was saying. Why? Because she knows she has something to say even if it is getting harder for her to say it! She has walked through much already, learned many lessons, and has the advantage of experience on her side, but the disadvantage of advancing age makes it harder and harder for her to actually form those t…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…