Tunnel Vision

Have you ever gotten tunnel vision? You get so caught up in the one thing that you are waiting for that you don’t see what else is going on around you. I recently read a news story about a couple of police officers who were chasing a “bad guy” in the streets of New York and while they fired at him they injured nine innocent bystanders. They got tunnel vision. They were so focused on the person they were trying to detain that they didn’t even notice the multitudes of people around them. As they fired their bullets at their target they didn’t even realize that they were shooting into a crowd.

Tunnel vision in our personal lives can be detrimental as well. I have shared with you my story of secondary infertility and pregnancy loss. It is a big part of my life right now and has definitely shaped who I am in ways both good and bad. But I have come to realize that I am guilty of being too focused on getting pregnant and may have been missing other more important things along they way. As I have spent hours praying for my own desires, I wonder what prayers were left unsaid for those in need around me. As I have focused on my own health I have missed opportunities to minister to others whose needs are greater than my own. I have often wished the days away because I am consumed with moving from cycle to cycle, chance to chance. When one chance to conceive has gone by I rush in my mind to the day weeks in the future that I may have another chance. But what am I missing in the meantime?

We often hear the phrase “stop and smell the roses.” But when life gets ugly, when we face a difficult battle, when our heart has been broken, we don’t even see the roses. God wants us to remember that He is with us in every circumstance and the “roses” in life are our reminder of His presence. What are the roses in your life that you are missing out on? Do you take time to appreciate your home, the comfortable space God has provided for you? Do you savor the meals you make and thank Him for meeting your family’s needs? Do you soak up time with your small children and memorize what they look like even while they seem to age right before your eyes? If you’re like me, you may even have a sweet pet that is snuggly and comforting. Do you see the way your spouse does little things to show you he loves you? Don’t get so caught up in the one thing you don’t have yet that you forget to thank God for the many things you do have. Remember, even if you get that one thing you are waiting for, you’ll just move to the next thing on your list of “must-haves” in your life. It can be a vicious cycle. What are the “roses” in your life that you walk past each day without even noticing?

We all get tunnel vision at one time or another. Maybe you are waiting until the Lord gives you a bigger or nicer home. Maybe you need a new car. Maybe you’re waiting for a better job or for someone to come along that you will marry. Maybe, like me, you are praying for the Lord to give you a child. Let’s remember together that God is the giver of many gifts. Maybe that thing you are waiting for will happen. But maybe it won’t. So let’s look around and see what God has for us in this moment. What can you enjoy today? Who can you minister to? Abandon your tunnel vision for a bigger view of the lift God has for you!

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
-- Colossians 4:5

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