Myopia is nearsightedness.
When people have nearsightedness, they can see well things that are close while struggling to see those at a distance. I have myopia both in the physical and spiritual sense.
Over the past couple of months, Papa, the kids, and I have been going through Focus on the Family’s “The Truth Project.” It has been a rich time as we dive into Truth and seeing how it affects our worldview(s). We’ve had some great discussions throughout this journey. If you’re looking for something to study and shift some of your thinking, I highly recommend going through this one. This is Papa and my third time through the series, it’s so good.
As we watched the 6th lesson on “Whose story” is History, the teacher shared about our tendency to have and struggle with myopia. We all have it, in some shape or form, some greater than others. We see what’s in front of us clearly, from our own perspective. It’s often a more selfish perspective. In having this, we can easily neglect to see what God is doing in the big picture and throughout all of history. His perspective. It’s bigger than just us. Though the teacher mentioned it ever-so-briefly, it hit close to home in light of my recent ponderings and most recent blog post.
In my post, I mentioned sharing or teaching from what we know. We share our lives, our passions, our own thoughts and experiences with others to make a difference. I believe this to still be true, but maybe it should be more like the backdrop or a prop, instead of the main stage event.
I am not very familiar with the theater world, but I do know there is a big story being told on a stage. Each costume, actor, prop, background, stage hand, pulley, light, curtain, musical instrument, voice, sound effect, and so many other small and grand parts, help tell a greater narrative. Though we are not actors in a performance, we are part of a bigger story.
It’s incredibly easy, for me, to dwell in and focus on my own little world, my own little part, that I miss seeing what’s happening around me in this greater story.
Take heart friends, the pressure is off, because it’s not all about us, despite our having myopia.
It’s ultimately His story that is being told. He is the focus.
We may know this, but where does that leave us?
How are you and I a part of it all? Sometimes, we just feel so small and/or insignificant. What difference can we make?
Changing analogies here … How can God weave us into His beautiful tapestry?
Friends, we must not only look down and in (at our personal journey), we must also look up and out (at God’s bigger picture). We must see bigger, view greater, and envision beyond what’s right in front of us. We are a piece, a part, a thread of something so much bigger than ourselves. It’s a delicate balance of recognizing the experiences and decisions that make us who we are in the here and now (myopia), yet remembering Who made us in light of history and throughout all of eternity (big picture).
When I spiral down into my own world, into my own little cave of perspectives, thoughts, fears, worries, isolation, I usually start asking myself some tough and pointed questions to help me get out:
Am I reading and meditating on God’s Word, on His Truth?
Am I standing firm on Truth?
Am I merely *thinking* about things, or am I truly taking it to prayer? (thinking about something is not the same as praying with purpose and intention)
Am I doing what He is asking me to do?
Am I doing ____ to please myself?
Am I doing ____ to please others?
Am I doing ____ to please God?
Am I being true to who God created me to be?
Am I feeling restless or feeling content?
Am I going with what I think is best, easiest, practical and most logical?
Am I seeing God at work and moving, or am I missing it from having “myopia?”
Recently, I said “no” to doing some very good things in my life, in order to prepare and be able to say “yes” to better things. It’s not that the actual “things” were better, in general, it’s that they were better because God was leading me (and our family) to do them. His leading is always the better way. These things involved how I use my time, and more specifically, how our family would serve in the local foster care system.
At the time, I didn’t know what those “better” things would be, but knew I had to step away from what was comfortable and routine. I knew I was blessing others with my service and work, but I also knew God had other plans in store for me, for my family. Though I loved what I did, something was shifting. I did not know what I needed to prepare for, but knew I needed to stop and say “no” in order for me to say “yes” to whatever was to come. It wasn’t easy, but the bigger picture was unfolding before me and I didn’t want to miss it.
I had to step out in faith and leave behind my comfort zone.
Once I made that decision to say “no” and step down from what I was previously committed to doing, I was free to say “yes.” Little did I know, we would not have to wait long to find out what “yes” was awaiting us. Just 2 days later, we received a call from the state (CPS). We now have the sweetest little 3yr old girl (“Munchkin“) in our care who has higher medical needs. If we hadn’t made ourselves ready and available, it would’ve been hard to say “yes” in that phone call. We would not have been able to maintain what we were doing and add caring for her to our lives. God knew what He was doing! He’s weaving our story to reflect His heart, and in this case, His heart to love and care for the “orphans” (children in foster care). I truly cannot imagine life without Munchkin in our home. She’s amazing. Praise HIM for leading us to change things in our lives at the exact moment we needed to change them.
I encourage you to step back, look out, and look up. God is moving. He is working. He has a plan and purpose and it’s bigger than anything we can comprehend or imagine. It’s a beautiful weaving of our lives to reflect His glory.
Don’t be surprised, friends, if and when He asks you to prepare for something “greater” that is to come. It may not be profound or grand from our perspective; as it may be as simple as slowing down and listening to someone share their story, or to step in and teach or help with a class, or provide a meal for a friend in need. Whatever the call, whatever the nudge, I implore you to answer.
You and I have a part in what God is doing. Beautiful threads created and designed for a purpose.
Lord, show us how we can be a part of Your story. Help us to not allow our myopia to cloud or narrow our vision. Help us to see clearly where You are moving, working and what amazing things you are doing far and wide. Sharpen our hearing so we can answer Your call to move, stand, wait, build, speak, or simply just be. You make beautiful things out of us, so here we are, ready to be woven into the magnificent tapestry of Your story. To You be the Glory, Honor and Praise, forever and ever, Amen.