“Son, did you clean your room?”
“Yeah, Mom, it’s all done.”
Funny how when you look into your teenage son’s room, you find that it’s “all done,” yet things still seem to be swarming in there. Personally, I rarely go in without haz-mat gear.
Teen vision is amazing. I’m nearing the finish line in raising five of them and it’s still remarkable to me that a teenager can look directly at the biggest, ugliest, most disgusting mess and totally not see it.
I opened my microwave not too ago and found a big, fat mound of cheese cooked onto the bottom of the microwave. Someone obviously tried to make one of those nacho mountains. But how could a person zap Mt. Nacho and completely miss the fact that it’s doing a volcano cheese eruption kind of a thing a couple of minutes in? And then how could that teen just walk away and leave all the cheese-lava smoldering there? You would think even a teen would notice something was up when he pulled the plate out, got halfway across the kitchen, then realized the plate was still connected to the microwave by a 6-foot stretchy string of cheese. The only viable answer – teenage select-a-vision.
Of course, it’s also just about as easy to have selective vision in our spiritual lives sometimes. Isn’t it so much more pleasant to find a fault in someone else than it is to notice a weakness of our own? I don’t even want to think about how many nacho-type messes I’ve noticed in others, all the while stringing along a six-foot-long cheese rope of my own.
But Jesus can give us a different kind of vision. It’s vision that’s not so quick to dismiss our own messes. He asked in Matthew 7:3-5, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Jesus’ kind of vision clears those hypocrisies right up. And His kind of vision is the kind that sees the best in others. His vision is filtered through love. First Corinthians 13:5 tells us that real love “is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
According to verse two in that chapter, even mountain-moving faith gets us nowhere if there’s no love.
Loving according to the Lord’s example will keep us on the right track and help us to consistently see things more clearly. It’s not only better vision, it’s the best vision.
By that mountain-moving faith, I’m seeking to hang on to that kind of love vision through those weird scenes in the microwave. Getting plenty of practice. Last week somebody exploded a dozen or so pizza rolls into a forest-looking scene just before another nacho-cano. Now I can’t see the mountain for the cheese.
RHONDA RHEA / contributing colunist