I have reached that stage in life that I benefit from wearing glasses. My wife is frequently asking if she can clean my glasses. While I greatly benefit from these additional “extra eyes,” I often don’t realize that my view is being obstructed. Often the smudges of life’s challenge keep us from seeing the new opportunities each day.
I believe that most of us would agree that our world is one sense in a very dark place. It seems like no matter where we look, from the news sources we consume, to the discussions we have, the media and conversation smudge on our perspective.
The danger of a “junk food” information diet eventually leaves us straddling the pit of despair. The sources we consume only stimulate our appetite for more. One of the greatest dangers of even social media is that frequently feeds our jealously, insecurity, slothfulness, anger, hypocrisy, and even pride. It tempts us to covet that which we do not have, or to shade the reality of our own lives. These smudges block our sight of our wonderful Creator and the incredible blessing of walking with Him each day!
The Psalmist Asaph shares how he was almost overcome from a dirty perspective on life. He begins Psalm 73 stating, “Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”(Psalm 73:1–3) Let me encourage you to take a moment to read the whole Psalm. The smudges of life distorted his perspective, blocking him from see the Creator and His working! Straddling the pit he shares, “my feet had almost slipped.” He on the precipice of the abyss of abandoning his relationship with God.
The turning point of his downward slide happened when he turned to God. “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.” (Psalm 73:16–17) It was notuntil he “cleaned his lenses” that his perspective changed. The catalyst for this change was a return to God by attending corporate worship. It could have also happened by opening the Book of Life, Bible or a number of others ways. God desires to will the same work in your life, but you must initiate. Our perspective never improves until I take the initiate to remove the smudges that hinder our view.
The are many places and ways that we can meet God. Yet, for many of us like Asaph we fail to make corrections until we are at the end of our rope. All the dirty thoughts and attitudes only pull us deeper into darkness. Our lenses will get dirty living in a broken world. But the needed cleaning is obtained in the presence of our Creator. I love how Asaph ends his testimony of God’s transformation in his life. “But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” (Psalm 73:28) Maybe it is time for you to clean your glasses!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson