Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tunnel Vision!

These are not stars!

If you looked through a soda straw 8 foot long, this is the tiny part of the sky you could see, and these are galaxies there; about 10,000 of them.

Tunnel vision, like looking through a soda straw  ... looking at such a tiny part of what is.  You could spend a lifetime focused on this 1/1000000000000th of the available view.

We do that.  It's a semi-survival mechanism.  We can't keep it all in view all the time.

In a small town where we lived, folk's lives were often filled with local concerns.  Some perhaps had a larger view, but the time spent talking about the traffic accident involving a garbage truck and a college employee wasn't as profitably spent as it might have been.  There are more important things than that about which one might be concerned.

For natural reasons we focus on our own lives, and rather narrowly.  What we have and what we want to have occupy most of our time.  Our narrow view excludes most of what is available to see and know and experience.

Mayan tunnel window at
Altun Ha ruins.
Tunnel Vision and the Narrow View: can it be set aside?

Our humanity gives us opportunity to see more than just our own wants, of course.  Do we?  Do we care about those outside of our own circle?  Would we sacrifice a bit for someone we didn't know?  Would we take action for the disenfranchised, the castoffs, the poor?

Mayan window is a t-shaped tunnel ...  not much of a view;
perhaps a bit like ours as we focus on just ourselves?
Can we choose?  Can we move into caring broadly and deeply?  It is a stunning life changer, we're told.  There is nothing that compares to love given without expecting anything in return.  And in being loved.  Interestingly, such a choice changes everything, up to and including our understanding of God himself.

Religion can focus us narrowly on small issues, just one small aspect of something which is immeasurably larger and grander than the greatest expanse of space.  Walking the ridge above the Grand Canyon or standing beside Victoria Falls can be breath-taking, but just skirting the presence of the God Who Is can be ... reconstructive!  All good.  I want to see it all.