God has blessed me with over a half century of life and I’m grateful to Him for that. There are some parts that don’t work as well as they used to, but that’s to be expected. Specifically, I’ve experienced the usual sight issues of people my age who need corrective lenses for both near-sightedness and for reading. Since I wear contacts for my near-sightedness, when I started to experience difficulty reading, I just purchased a pair of reading glasses and everything was fine. Well, it was fine for a while.
I’m one of those people who has trouble keeping up with certain things and reading glasses are one of them. After five years and several pairs of glasses that were lost, broken, stepped on, etc., I realized I needed to explore some other options.
My optometrist reminded me about monovision lenses. With monovision lenses, you’re fitted in one eye with a lens that corrects your near-sightedness and the other eye is fitted with a lens that enables you to focus when reading. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? He had brought this up when I first began experiencing problems reading and I thought the idea was absurd because it meant that one eye was always out of focus! But after five years of never seeming to have my glasses when I needed to read something, I was ready to try it.
Monovision isn’t anywhere as bad as it initially sounded. While it’s true that one eye is always out of focus, that’s not really the complete picture of how it works. What actually happens is that your brain (like a television director), chooses which one of the cameras (eyes), it wants to use. If you’re watching television, it uses the eye that is corrected for distance viewing and if you’re reading, it uses the other eye. It’s fascinating how it works, but then the brain is pretty remarkable.
I’ve also found monovision to be an appropriate metaphor for life since there is always at least a little bit of blur present in how we see things. One of the biggest myths propagated by movies and television is how everyone almost always operates and interacts on the same wavelength (basically omniscience), and if they don’t, it takes no longer than a few minutes or a commercial break for them to see things with perfect clarity. Of course, that’s because they’re all working from the same script. In life as we know it, not only are no two scripts exactly alike—we’re all working with incomplete scripts that are being written, edited, and rewritten as we go along. Very rarely does anyone see anything with crystal clarity. And supposing that they did, what would be the chance that anyone else would share their vision? We live in a fallen world. If even creation is touched by it (Genesis 3:17; Romans 8:20ff), how can our eyes not be? We may not like it, but we must accept the fact that our lives will not be one steady stream of insights and epiphanies. We have to learn to live with the blur.
That being true though, I also have the choice of whether I want to focus on the blur or on the bigger, clearer picture that my faith enables me to see. The blur is always there and I can always focus on it, or I can see the bigger picture. I can focus on the evil, the bad, and the negative, or I can focus on God who is greater than it all (2 Kings 6:16; 1 John 4:4). It’s true that sometimes the bad is more than just a blip, but it’s also true that it’s never greater than God (Romans 8:31ff).
I think these words of Jesus sum it all up: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).
I’m learning to live with the blur.