I don’t take very good care of my eyes.
So this week when my youngest, Bethany, lost her very last contact while tubing, I decided that really we both needed full eye exams and new contact prescriptions.
I knew my sight was getting worse, but I didn’t know how much worse. For the past few months, I’ve had trouble reading the screens in our church sanctuary. Which makes it really interesting when you are singing on the worship team and trying to guess at the words. Each week during the Bible study I recently taught, I had to ask the ladies to read the clock for me. And on my trip to Illinois, I spent a lot of time hunched over the wheel and squinting my eyes to read the road signs. I already don’t have pretty eyes–I have fish eyes. Squinting constantly makes my eyes look even more ridiculous.
So, yeah, my eyes were bad.
But I didn’t know how bad until I went to the Optometrist. My eyesight had gone done significantly—2.5 levels. And, she said, I needed bifocal contacts.
“Old” jokes aside, my eyes had a serious problem. They were out of focus. Therefore I couldn’t see things clearly. Everything was fuzzy/dim–like a film was laid over my eyes.
But when she gave me a sample pair of bifocal lens (but really I think I paid for them, because my bill was obnoxiously large), and I put those things in my eyes, I was stunned. Absolutely stunned by what I could see. I walked out into the parking lot and it was like everything was in High Definition. I was in focus! That night I could read the clock during Bible Study. Last night during worship practice, I could see the words!
It’s like it is a whole new world.
But isn’t that just like us in life? Good grief, how easy is it to become unfocused? To let our focus waver. To not take care of our spiritual eyes to the point that everything becomes fuzzy–our doctrines, our theology, our behavior, and even our belief our God!
In 1 Peter 1:13 we read:
This is a “not nothing” verse. We are first told to prepare our minds for action. What does that mean? It means get ready. Get ready to move. Get ready to move forward. Get ready to move in the direction that God leads. But we can’t do that without focus and concentration, or all we end up doing is lackadaisically preparing for something that is fuzzy in our minds and ultimately we end up sitting, not preparing for action.
Being sober-minded. I believe that the author here means to be serious-minded; however, I find it interesting that he uses the word that means “sober”. I haven’t investigated the language behind the word, but I certainly know what it means to be sober. Because there have been times in my life that I wasn’t sober. When I was under the influence of alcohol–too much alcohol. And being “not sober” causes everything to go out of focus–both literally and figuratively. When one is drunk, one can not focus. We must be sober-minded.
And here’s the kicker: “set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”. How do I set my hope? By focusing. By narrowing out the noise and chaos of my busy life and instead tuning in and holding on to hope with everything I have–everything. Setting that hope on grace. O, grace—so undeserved in my life. In your life. But offered despite our ugliness and sinfulness. And all of it comes through our Jesus, who gave His life on the cross so that we could live eternally, with sin forgiven souls.
My focus on Christ gets out of whack—a lot. Sometimes I don’t even recognize that it’s out of whack. But when I do, I have to preach the gospel to myself, return to the disciplines of scripture study, prayer and worship, and regain that focus–that tight grip on hope–so that I can fall on His grace; over and over and over again.