Saturday, April 12, 2008

Straining to See

Today, I ventured to the eye doctor for my annual chance to take the vision chart test. All those years of looking at numbers ruined my perfect 20/20 vision, requiring me to get glasses back in college.

Most people don't mind going to the eye doctor, but I'm not one of those people. All the eye testing is painful for my sensitive eyes. The test that requires you to click every time you think you see a paramecium-like figure enter the screen makes me feel like I'm getting a migraine aura. I'm also not a fan of having drops put in my eyes and then an ultra-bright light shined in them. I realize that this is all part of the process of making sure that my eyes are healthy, but it's a painful process that ends up with me not being able to see for a while. Approximately 8.5 hours in my case.

That's right, it takes almost a day for my dilated pupils to return to normal and for me to be able to see detail again. The rest of the time, I can't read things near me no matter how hard I try. And there's no way to speed up the process because my body doesn't process medicines very quickly. (Reminds me of a line from a children's song: "Can't go over it, can't go around it, gotta go through it.")

How often do I try to speed up life? How often do I try to see the future? Daily.

Just a few days ago, the meteorologists in our area pulled an all-nighter as one round of severe storms after another pelted the metroplex. Every few minutes, they interrupted the regularly scheduled evening programs and updated us on the tornado watches, tornado warnings, and the severe thunderstorms warnings. The heightened capability of the radars allowed the meteorologists to detect wind sheers, rotation, etc., giving us advanced warning of the type of weather and where it was headed. But even their radars gave only minutes of warning because the storms' paths and intensities weren't always predictable.

With no Doppler radar to see what's coming in my own life, I get frustrated. But God knew there'd be people like me who struggled with seeing and included a special instruction for times like this: "So we fix our eyes NOT on what is see, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18, emphasis mine)

It's a gentle reminder that maybe I need to retrain my eyes on how to see. His way. A little lesson that only the master Optometrist can instruct me on. So much for the eye chart. I think this kind of seeing comes with tests of its own.