Skip to main content

Peripheral vision

We all have those 'aha' moments when we realize what we 'thought' was being said was not at all about us! We somehow "think" someone is talking about us, so when we are asked our opinion based on just a little bit of knowledge of the gist of the conversation, we begin to launch into some answer which makes us look great (at least in our own eyes) and based on what we 'think' someone has been talking about? Then, as quickly as we began to speak, we find ourselves caught off-guard when we realize we had no clue what they were talking about or asking us! There are times when someone is bragging on someone else and we just assume (unwisely) they must be talking about us! That little bit of 'mistaken' truth leaves us more than a little embarrassed to find out that everything others think and talk about isn't actually all about us - even though we 'thought' maybe it was. Haman found himself in just such a spot - entering the king's court, hearing only half of a conversation being spoken, and thinking it must be all about him.

When Haman entered, the king said, "What would be appropriate for the man the king especially wants to honor?" Haman thought to himself, "He must be talking about honoring me— who else?" So he answered the king, "For the man the king delights to honor, do this: Bring a royal robe that the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crown on its head. Then give the robe and the horse to one of the king's most noble princes. Have him robe the man whom the king especially wants to honor; have the prince lead him on horseback through the city square, proclaiming before him, 'This is what is done for the man whom the king especially wants to honor!'" (Esther 6:6-9)

It is a pretty ridiculous thing to be so full of ourselves, fully consumed by our own pride, isn't it? Whenever we see "us" as the center of the universe, we are headed for a sure and certain fall! The universe does not always rotate around "us" - in fact, it rarely does! Haman wanted Mordecai out of the way - not paraded through the city streets on a horse dressed in regal attire - what a blow to Haman's pride that revelation must have been. He imagined the king could have no other "favorite" than him. Imagine his surprise when he discovers there are actually other people in this world of importance to the king! Sometimes I think we approach God in just this way - we imagine "us" as the center of his great big universe! In fact, we hope and pray everything will always rotate around us in his world! Sadly, we find we are not in the right place at the center of God's universe! The real center of the universe is God - not us - things rotate around him, not the other way around.

One thing is for sure - whenever my eyes are on me, I don't see you! When my eyes are on me I also don't see God! Regardless of how hard we try, we can only really "behold" one thing at a time. Sure, there are things in our periphery vision, but they are just that - "in the periphery". They are not the true object of our focus. The real truth is God is never content with just being in "the periphery" of our lives, my friends. I think this is what Jesus had in mind when he told us it was impossible to serve two "gods" - God and mammon. Either money is in our focus, or God is; either that career is, or God is; either our leisure is, or God is. One or the other is really in the periphery - no two things dwell together in equal focus! Try it. Put your coffee cup in front of you on a napkin. Then put your spoon on the napkin. Take a good hard look at them. You will either see the cup, the spoon or the napkin - all three are in the "picture" together, but only one is in focus at a time.

What we focus on the most determines our course. If we focus on the cup, we likely will crave the coffee. If we focus on the napkin, we will think less of the coffee, and more of the protection it provides to the desk against the tiny drops of moisture which could destroy the finish if coffee gets on it. If the spoon is the object of our attention - sparkling in its glittery brilliance - we will not remember the combined sweetness and bitterness of the coffee it stirred just a short while before. Silly illustration, I know, but....it speaks to the truth - one object is all we can truly keep in focus at a time. How hard do we have to work to keep the correct focus in life? Probably pretty hard! Focus is tough - it is a learned thing. I know when I learned to shoot a semi-automatic rifle, focus on the target through the tiny aiming device on the end of the rifle was the hardest thing to learn. Yet, in the end, I became an expert marksman. So, it is possible to refine our focus! What's in your focus this morning? What is in the periphery? Does your focus need to change? Always remember this: Your focus determines your destiny! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Noticed by grace

Stop and notice life around you from time to time - you might just be surprised by what you observe!
Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life. I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person. I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening? There are times when life passes us by at break-neck speed, or perhaps we are passing it by at that insane speed! Slow down, listen a little, get in touch with things and people around you. Notice stuff - it might just blow your mind!

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came fro…

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…