I need to wear glasses or contacts. I’ve worn them for years. However, throughout this past year, my eyes were extremely dry, and wearing my contacts was out-of-the-question because they made me look like I was high. On top of that, my eye glasses are from 2007—the ones that we could get free with our insurance plan —and I definitely need to get some newer styled frames that keep me from looking like Froggy from the Little Rascals.
I’ve been ok though. I really have. No, I’ve not worn my glasses. For one, I don’t want to look like a complete dork, and now, I’m sure my prescription has changed, ‘cause they give me a headache more than help. I’ve just pushed through gotten used to not wearing any sort of eye wear… until the last month or so, when I’ve found myself with blurry vision and tired eyes.
I laugh because my life mirrors this same image. Over the last year, life has become normal. I have my normal routine. I have my normal events during the week. I have my normal busyness. However, in that, I have grown accustomed to pushing through and making it work. This last month and a half, however, I’ve found that my lack of ability to see well physically has its twin in my spiritual walk.
So, I find myself thankful for a lack of clarity.
I know that sounds silly, but I want you to consider a few things about a lack of clarity in our lives and what that means.
A lack of clarity reminds us of our limitations. Just as my eyes grow tired, and my head aches, and my typing and depth-perception suffer, a lack of spiritual clarity acts as a necessary reminder of how mortal, how fallible, how fragile we are. It brings us to our knees in a recognition of our lack of wisdom and of our need for the Holy Spirit.
In fact, it’s when I’m lacking clarity that I begin to understand what true clarity offers:
The Knowledge of Who You Are
Living without sight could be a dangerous thing for any of us. In my mind’s eye, I am a gorgeous brunette with perfect skin, rolling curls, and the perfect body. In fact, I’m like the model that doesn’t even need Photoshop®. I’ve got perfect proportions, and I have a dreamy smile with sparkly eyes, snow-white teeth, and a face that never needs makeup because of my natural beauty.
Well, let me tell you. That is not so. 🙂 If you wake me up in the morning, be prepared for messy, tangled hair, uneven skin, and bad breath. However, how would I know this if it weren’t for the Sidonians in the First Century, who are accredited for having developed the traditional mirror as we know it today. Rotten fools.
In all actuality, that clarity we get from the mirror tells us important information about ourselves–our height in comparison to our surroundings, the imperfections of our bodies, the need for other creative inventions like the hairbrush, and the reality that this dress really does make me look fat.
James 1 uses this same analogy of a mirror to remind us of what we are called to in our spiritual walks. The Word provides clarity:
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
The lack of clarity this past month has offered me an opportunity to look at what clarity is and to be reminded that there is clarity in who I am when I am founded–rooted–in the Word.
The Knowledge of Where You Are
In firefighting, we have certain rules for interior search and rescue. If you enter the room and start working to the right, you stay to your right, hand or foot on the wall and you do not ever, ever change direction. If you were to change direction partway through, it would be incredibly easy to lose track of where you were in the room and to become lost in a fully-engulfed building.
Clarity offers us the assurance of where we are in relation to where we have been, to where we are currently, and to where we are going.
As a believer, clarity is found in knowing where God wants you to be. About a month ago, Adam and I were in serious prayer about where God would have us. “Comfortable” is neither a sign of being where we ought to be nor is it reason enough to make changes. God has a specific plan for our location and nothing in our lives happens by chance. We truly believe this, and it was an interesting few weeks as we really sought the Lord as to where we should be.
The Knowledge of How to Accurately Respond to the Needs Around You
Once a firefighter is aware of his surroundings and has identified a room and its general contents, he can better assess the presence of someone in need. In the same way, once we understand our location in the plan of God, we can become aware of our surroundings and how He would have us utilize that location to accomplish His goals.
If Adam and I felt that we were supposed to be in a specific location, I believe God would show us the needs that our presence there could fill. In the same way, God has allowed us clarification as to the place where He has us now and with that, a passion for the needs around us. It is neat to sense His peace as we pursue wholehearted service for Him for this next year’s plan.
What area of life is God giving you clarity in? In what area do you need to seek His Wisdom?