Anytime I find myself reflecting, taking stock, and looking towards the future, I find my sight lines shorter than ever before. It is as if I refuse to take stock of tomorrow, only the immediate matters. It’s as if I toss my values and principles, ignore everything I hold dear to my heart, and begin the building process on the whim of the moment. Even a realistic look at the present is off limits! Only perceptions matter. Short sighted is far more natural than perfect vision.
I walk the streets of New York’s lower east side. It’s easy to assess the vision of the community. We’re walking with self-inflicted blinders. It appears that we, I am far more alike than I willingly admit, limited our sight to the immediate. I thought the attitude was unique to big cities. It isn’t. As I reflect on the happenings of Redlands the same parameters apply. I’m as easily consumed by the busyness of the moment as I am in New York. I am as easily driven by my perceptions and immediate needs here as I am there. Even the fears, uncertainties, and doubts which haunt me in New York have found residence here! It appears my limitations have taken us residence wherever I am.
In this context, when good things happen I reach a conclusion that doesn’t make sense in the bigger scheme of things. Goods things happen – beauty, mercy, and community – and I think storms are on the way. I find myself retelling a story of old. “The foundations trembled at the sound of the angel voices, and then the whole house filled with smoke. I said, ‘Doom! It's Doomsday! I'm as good as dead! Every word I've ever spoken is tainted—blasphemous even! And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I've looked God in the face! The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!’” (Isaiah 6.4, 5)
Today is an opportunity to lift my eyes; to look beyond my blinders and see the possibilities. God and possibilities are great friends.
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