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 softly 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 whacked it with my slipper.
When I bent down to scoop up the remains with a tissue, the floor came into focus and I realized this ‘bug’ was actually a small black button, an uncommon oval-shaped one which had come off my new shirt.
Since our vision of the future is unclear, when we see something approaching from a distance our first reaction is often 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. Just as finding that button meant I did not have to discard a favorite shirt or replace all its buttons.
Frequently, a clear perspective is only achieved by looking behind us. Only then 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 a spoonful of healing medicine, we prolong our discomfort by fearing what we do not yet understand. How much wiser it is to wait calmly and see what comes into focus.
When we fear something indistinct looming on the horizon, we need to remember that our loving Lord has perfect vision and knows what is best for us.
Sometimes it’s bugs and sometimes it’s buttons.
[Original post August 18, 2014]