I have a portable DVD player that’s seen some heavy usage so I was doing a little maintenance on it. I opened the disc area and blew some compressed air into it. As I did, I noticed a warning label: DO NOT TOUCH THE LENS. That made sense— any kind of smudge on the lens would keep the disc from being read cleanly or correctly and that wouldn’t be good news for the picture on the screen. I started wondering—is there’s anything in us that answers to the lens on the DVD player? Do we have some kind of lens that can get smudged and keep us from seeing things in all of their wonder and glory?
There’s a couple of instances in the first chapter of John where John the Baptizer says, “Behold, the Lamb of God,” (v. 29,36 ESV). The word behold is translated from a little word in the Greek (ido), which essentially means LOOK as opposed to look (Mark 13:1,21). It means to take something in completely—with your head and your heart. John is telling people to take a good look at Jesus because He is what they have been waiting for.
It almost goes without saying that we miss out on wonder so many times because we’re too busy to behold. We have so many things going on and the result is that some things aren’t really seen—they’re more of a blur. And it’s hard to get wonder and awe out of a blur.
But I don’t think our warp speed lifestyles should bear all of the blame. There’s something else at play. For example, who hasn’t noticed all of the “oohs” and “aahs” a newborn baby (rightfully) receives. Just about everyone recognizes the wonder of a baby. Fast forward a few years and fewer see the wonder of a two year old. Give it a few more years and it’s all but dried up. What happened? That child is still a unique individual, made in the image of God. The wonder hasn’t gone anywhere (although it may be lurking beneath the surface now). And that’s the point—we must look a little harder or we’ll miss out on the wonder and glory that is all around us.
Here’s a quick test: how prone to praise are you at this moment? If your answer is something like “somewhat,” or “a little bit,” then my guess is that your lens is in need of cleaning. Praise is the result of beholding. If praise is absent it’s usually due to a lack of beholding. If beholding is happening, then praise will be present.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, 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)
Be bold and behold!