If you don’t know me, you should know that I’m a recovering pessimist. I used to allow myself to only see all the problems in life and the world around me. If you know me now and still think I’m pessimistic, well, you should have known me way back when. 🙂
But, one thing I wanted to share with you as I’ve gone on this journey is this: We see what we’re looking for.
I’m a fan of the National Treasure movies. Especially the first one. I love Ben Franklin’s glasses. I love the idea that there was something hidden on the declaration of independence all along, and they could have seen it, if they just had the right glasses.
Last year, here in the PNW, we experienced a total solar eclipse (where we live it was about 95%, I wasn’t insane enough to drive to where it would be totality.) I remember how dark it got. I remember how cold and windy it got. That was weird.
To view the eclipse, you had to have special glasses. If you stare at the sun, you go blind. But, with the right glasses you can see the sun safely.
However, when you look at anything else you can’t see anything. The only thing you can see is the sun. Everything else gets blocked out.
What I know about life, is that I see what I want to see. Problems are always there. But, in every problem there’s something good too. Every day has enough problems of it’s own, but every day has good that I can see too, if I choose to.
Like those Ben Franklin glasses, I can can choose to flip down the blue lens and see everything through the lens of depression and sadness. I can color the world blue and everything I see will have a slightly depressed tint to it. Like Meredith Grey from Grey’s anatomy, (No, I don’t watch that show, but my wife does while I’m sitting on the couch with her.) everything is dark and twisty.
I can choose to flip down the red lens and be ticked off and angry at the world and see everything through the lens of how it upsets me and affects me negatively. I can see all the problems that I can’t do anything about, that are outside my control and flip out about them and flip off everyone because of them.
I can choose to flip down the green lens and see the world only through the lens of how everything can benefit me, to see everyone for what good they bring me, what benefit they offer me. I can see the world through how I can profit from it, how everyone and everything can make my life better.
I can choose to not color the world at all and see all everything for what it is. I can be a realist. I can see the world for all its positives and negatives. I can wrestle with the good, the bad and the ugly. I can not hide what I can’t fix and I can see the hurt and have hope.
But, there’s a fifth way to see the world. I can choose to see the world only through the lens of the Son. (I know it’s cheesy, but hang with me.)
The sun, in our physical world is the source of light. Light is what illuminates everything. Light gives us energy. Light brings life. Without light, everything would die. By the light, we can see around us. At night, we turn on lights so we can still see, because when it’s dark, we still want the light. Unless we’re sleeping, then we want it dark.
Similarly, if we choose to let the Son of God illuminate how we see everything in this life, it changes how we see it. Just like Jesus saw humanity and was moved with incredible compassion, we can see humanity with the same lens. Just like Jesus saw the brokenness of the world and died for it, we can see the world in the same way. Just like Jesus forgave the very people who were murdering him, forgave the disciples who betrayed him, even while he was hanging on the cross for them, we can see betray and hatred through the same lens.
Like I said, we see what we want to see. It’s all about how we’re looking at the world.
What kind of glasses are you wearing?