I have worn corrective lenses for fairly severe near-sightedness since I was in grade school, but I consider myopia a gift; every morning the world is blurry and out of focus, allowing me to put off facing sharp-edged reality until I’m fully awake.
The other morning when I stepped into my bathroom before putting on my glasses, I spotted a big black bug on the floor.
Now, I have a live and let live attitude to insects in their own environment, but I’m zero-tolerance all the way when they enter my territory, so I promptly smashed it with my slipper.
When I bent down to scoop the remains up with a tissue, the floor came into focus and I realized this ‘bug’ was actually a small black button, an uncommon oval-shaped one that had come off my new shirt. Fortunately, I hadn’t crushed it, even though I’d tried.
Sometimes, since our vision of the future is unclear, when we see something approaching from a distance our first reaction is fear. It’s small and dark, it must be a nasty bug!
Only when we are close enough to focus clearly do we realize that what we had feared actually fulfilled a need or blessed us in some other way. Finding that button meant that I did not have to discard a favorite shirt or replace all its buttons.
Frequently, a clear perspective is only achieved when looking behind us. Only when it is past can we see how our efforts of avoidance actually delayed our good fortune. Like a toddler bobbing and weaving with lips clamped shut to evade healing medicine we prolong our discomfort by fearing what we do not yet understand.
One of my dear friends made a long-distance move a few years ago, to be near her brothers. The move took her away from her son and his family, but she reasoned that she and her brothers were getting older and she needed to take advantage of this opportunity to spend time with them.
Recently both of her brothers began talking about moving to another state. This bug on the horizon was devastating to my friend. How could she squash it? Could she and her husband endure another expensive upheaval, either to follow her brothers or to return to be near her son?
In light of my recent early morning lesson, I think the best thing she could do would be to wait calmly and see what comes into focus.
Our loving Lord has perfect vision and knows what is best for us.
Sometimes it’s bugs and sometimes it’s buttons.