There’s something flying high above us. How can you tell if it’s a bird or a plane or Superman? You have to look.
Looking precedes seeing. If we want to see – to know…to understand…to perceive – we must first look. I don’t believe it’s a stretch to say, looking will frame, shape, and determine our seeing.
So, a few points to consider this Lent when it comes to looking.
Where you look matters.
Want to see if that’s Superman flying? You have to look up. Looking in a cave doesn’t make sense. Looking underwater would just be silly. Looking anywhere but up will, at the least, mean missing the experience of Superman in flight.
What if you want to see more love? What if you want to see poverty eradicated? What if you want to see community flourish? What if you want to see Jesus?
Am I wrong in thinking you could reasonably expect to see these come to life as Church? In fact, I’m wondering in what ways my church’s “vision” helps others see Jesus in the flesh. Do “outsiders” look at my church (or at me) and see Christ?
When you look matters.
I’ve come to learn my brain doesn’t do any serious processing past about 9:00 p.m. I can hang-out and play and visit with folks late into the night, but my best work is done early in the day. Maybe your are the same. Maybe you are opposite. Maybe you are some freak of nature and are always on, always at the top of your game, always ready for action. I’m guessing you fall into one of the other categories and it makes sense for you and me to pay attention to when we look influences what we’ll see. (On a side note, I’m hoping this Lent to get more sleep. Being well-rested is of value no matter the time.)
Why you look matters.
I used to work at a music store and had the opportunity to hear lots of new artists. One band I fell in love with was School of Fish. Their one “hit”, “3 Strange Days“contains the line, “I think I lost myself, when I lost my motivation.” Brilliant!
Why do people drive slowly by a car crash (other than the safety of rescue personnel)? Is it out of concern? Is it because we care about the people involved in the accident? Is it because we have some compulsion to see just how bad it is? Motivation is key.
Why am I looking for a new car? Why am I looking at that person/job/thing? Why says a lot.
Lent is a perfect time for me to consider again the motivation for my actions. The “why?” behind all I think or say or do.
I don’t mean your appearance, though I suppose there is something to be said about that. No, what I’m thinking about is honesty or authenticity. It is so easy to see through lenses provided by products and personalities.
Back to School of Fish…they sing a song title “Rose-Colored Glasses“. Of course, they didn’t make up the phrase. Seeing a distorted reality, whether warped by ourselves or others, is likely as old as humanity itself and it isn’t helpful.
I’m thinking about the glasses I’m wearing as I look at others. As I look at myself. As I look at the world. Is my prescription off? Do these glasses help bring life into better focus? It’s worth my time to consider.
What you look for matters.
In discussing where to look, I listed a few things I might want to see. It’s pretty basic really.
As a Christian, I want to see more Jesus in myself and others.
If I look for Jesus I am certain to find him. Likewise, if I look for _________, I am certain to find it. So this Lent I am hoping to look for less negativity. Less hurt and pain. Less of the failing and faults in others. I am looking for more Jesus. More love. More life. More hope. More joy.
So is it a bird, a plane, or Jesus?
Let’s take a look.
Life is better together,