20/20 vision


20/20 vision


Sunday, December 29, 2019

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HAVING two eyes provides humans stereoscopic vision, the loss of which tremendously handicaps humans since sight, over and above all else, is probably the most important channel of communication to the mind.

In fact, sight, were we to be given a choice to keep only one of the five senses, would no doubt be chosen by most individuals, if not all.

The year 2020 is nigh, and a decade is about to be brought to a close in the wink of an eye. On the threshold of this new year, what many conceive as a new chapter to their lives, humans can only envision what they hope the future may have in store for them.

In mapping out our vision for 2020, a 20/20 vision should never be overlooked, but even more compelling are the words of Hellen Keller: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Indeed, and parallelly, even the blind can remark: “I see”, and are fully able to perceive with the mind's eye.

Jesus Christ spoke similarly in language of metaphor to chart an excelling pathway for humans to follow in this bedarkened world. See what he says, for what he perceives a 20/20 vision to be is really for all to see.

Avoiding trouble, a simple eye

“If, then, your eye is simple, your whole body will be bright” (Matthew 6:22). Jesus went on to call “the lamp of the body the eye”. As a lamp lights up a dark place, showing us where we are, how we are to act, the way to go, what and what not to avoid, the eyes lead the body in the way it is to go.

Jesus didn't stop there; he goes on to say: “If your eye is wicked, your whole body will be dark”, in effect, spotlighting the tremendous influence the eye has, as a force for good or for bad, on us. Clearly, we can maintain a simple eye by not longing to do or engaging in bad. To the first woman, Eve, the forbidden fruit was “something to be longed for to the eyes” and “desirable to look upon” (Gen 3:6). Of note is that “longing” and “desire” are generally functions of the heart.

In essence, what the eye sees, or the more of a thing the eye focuses on, the more intense the longing and desire of the heart become. There are just so many ways to get involved in wrongdoing, but by controlling our desires, like the Psalmist in Ps 101:3, ours is this conviction: “[We] will set no worthless thing before [our] eyes”, in effect, we see no evil, but rather focus on actions that take into account our well-being and what concerns the welfare of all.

Eyes that see to save

Ours should be the conviction to curb spending and increase saving. A simple eye for 2020 and beyond should do the trick. True, this noble goal to save more and spend less is easier said than done. But it can be done once it is we focus and use our eyes to see through the spray paint of glamour and glitter of the world under Satan's mantra, namely, “the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one's means of life” (1 John 2:16).

Consider, by way of example, the advertising schemes of this commercial world. They target, wouldn't you agree, the things that appear to the eyes? Colourful billboards, flashing signs, glossy pictures in magazines and delightful faces form part and parcel of an advertising consensus geared towards captivating the “desire of the eyes”. Subtle strategies are employed, and it takes real 20/20 vision to see that greater than the products being advertised are the lifestyles being promoted.

Products, quite often, are presented as used by the haves — the most privileged, powerful, happy, and beautiful people. The message: Get this product and your life will fit in one of their categories. But the sharper your vision, the quicker you can unveil the trick and save hard-to-come-by cash, especially for a rainy day, as we reflect on Hebrews 13:5: “Let your manner of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things.”

Having sharp vision is more than just seeing objects in sight; rather, it's having insight and being able to see beneath the surface, with a view to making decisions beneficial to self and others. In this regard, therefore, when next you look at something, endeavour to not just take a deep look at it, but a deeper look into it.

Until then, see you in 2020 looking good, looking forward and looking even better.

Warrick Lattibeaudiere (PhD), a minister of religion for the past 22 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

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