Seeing For The First Time (Romans 13.8-10)
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.
My vision is bad. I have to wear glasses to drive, to watch TV, to go to a concert or a movie, or even to enjoy a nice sunset. But it wasn’t always this way. I didn’t visit an eye doctor to get an optical prescription until I was in college.
I thought I saw the world in the same way that everyone else saw the world. So I was completely astounded one day while driving in heavy traffic with my sister when she began to read aloud the construction and road signs that were a far distance away. “How can you read that?!” I said while my mouth hung open in amazement. “You must have super-human vision!”
My sister kindly explained to me that her vision was normal, but mine was deficient. I could only see what was right in front of me, but everything else was blurred or hidden from me. And I lived as if that was just fine! I had no idea of the danger I was to myself and to others by being so near-sighted. I had no idea that, after 20 years of being comfortable in my self-focused lifestyle, there was a better way to live.
And so it goes with the love of God. The culture around us affirms a self-centered, near-sighted lifestyle that is predicated on serving ourselves first. But God whispers and shouts, “There is a better way!”
The world says we need to take care of ourselves before we take care of anyone else. If we want to get some extra credit, we can be nice to the old man down the street or throw some money to a charity or social cause. But the love of Christ calls us to love in a completely new way; a way that looks really odd to those not seeing in full the vastness of the love of our God. We are called to love in a way is detrimental to our own schedule, sanity, wallet, and needs. We are called to be sacrificial in our love. We are called to measure our love by what is given and given up, not what is received and felt inside.
So here are some questions to ponder:
1. Is there anything different about the way I love, or do I love just like the world around me?
2. What truths am I accepting from my cultural context that inhibit my ability to love like God loves me?
3. How can I love someone this week in a way that would seem odd or unnecessarily extravagant to those around me?
I had to put on glasses to be able to see the world in the way God made it. It wasn’t painful of course, but it was embarrassing to admit that I had been walking around blind for a long time. My prayer for you is that you can see the way of love today without shame or guilt from your past. May the love of the Holy Spirit be constantly redeeming your heart and mind.
Be thou my vision
O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me
Save that thou art
Thou my best thought
In the day and the night
Waking or sleeping
Thy presence my light