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Living With the Long View

I have had to wear glasses since I was in high school. Maybe middle school. I don’t really remember; I just know my vision has needed correction for a long time.

I have been nearsighted for decades. I think that is a strange way of saying I cannot see things which are further away.

Then, about 10 years ago, I became farsighted. I cannot see things close up. Great.

My conversation with my husband following that visit went: “Well, I cannot see things far away and I cannot see things close up…You know what is next, right?”

Naming the seeing eye dog!

Interestingly, my whole vision story has had a different script. Over the past three or four years, my ability to see things at a distance has improved while my ability to see things close up has declined. My doctor says this is not unusual as we “age”.

It may be the normal course of nature, but it has had a multi-fold impact on me.

First, the practical. I think the tendency for people to have better distance vision than close up vision is an evolutionary thing. Think about it- if I was a nomad living in the Serengeti at my age, I would need to see the predator coming a lot earlier than I did 20 years ago. I would require a much bigger head start to avoid being its snack pack.

As far as not being able to see things up close as well, do I really want to see those teeth if I do, indeed, become the evening fare? Not really.

I also think God is telling me to cast my vision further. To look beyond the immediate view of the situation and look to the horizon.

The season of life which was so focused on the immediacy of every day is taking a less important role, and I can look ahead to see what beauty lies at the horizon. The space in-between inspires.

I am learning looking ahead opens breathing room. Room for creating. When we look into the future, we have the gap between the now and the not yet. It is a perfect place for plans, dreams, hopes and life. There are moments coming we know will be filled. When we take a longer view, we realize we have the power to fill those moments and can choose now how to build them. The near view becomes less important and just part of the path to tomorrow, next week, next month, even next year.

When I take a nearsighted view of life I squish any margin for fun, meaning, connection. Everything in life, everything, requires time to grow and flourish. Why do I act like a laser focus on the now will allow growth? I have to allow space, time, and opportunity for the process to have growth. These do not exist when I am focused too closely on the now. I have to remember to loosen my grip on the immediate to grasp the tomorrow.

My lesson?

Keep my eyes on the movement far away, and use the space in the middle for wonder.

And make sure I am not on something’s supper menu.