Imagine looking through binoculars. Ever try them? I never liked using them except for brief moments to zero in on something in the distance. But I hated the limited view. Absolutely no peripheral vision unless I kept moving my head with the binoculars. What a dizzying frustration!
Recently my youngest niece had a severe bout with tunnel vision. Her inability to see the whole and clear reality in front of her caused several problems. Her equilibrium suffered from constant shifting of her head to capture more field of vision. Progressive panic and fear seized her mind as the sudden loss of sight did not return. Fortunately the episode passed for her in time, but the thoughts of a tunnel vision perspective lingered for me. . .
Here’s a word I’m just gonna throw out there; “SONDER”. It’s a new word to me and it has quite the definition; a noun—- “the realization that each passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” Coined by John Koenig in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Koenig’s fascinating definition continues;” —populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness– an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might only appear once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.’
Needless to say, I wish that I had written that! It’s a concept I have often pondered; How life is exploding all around us and we miss it because we as humans tend to self focus. Guilty as charged here!!! It is a natural tendency in all of us that we must fight if we are to FLURISH. Proactively peel your eyes open, tune in your ears and expect to experience more around you. I have found that my schedule will not fall apart because I adjust more sensitively to my surroundings. Thinking less of my agenda frees me up to be aware of the needs occurring close at hand:
A person crying at the gas pump next to me who just went through some sort of pain. Do I take the time to offer a word of encouragement, a hug or at least a sympathetic smile?
Or an elderly person that is confused at the grocery store and needs help locating canned corned beef? Or someone too short to reach the sale items on the top shelf?
How about if someone falls or trips in front of me? Am I too busy to lend a helping hand because I am too involved with my own timetable? Or do I think what I am doing is more important than someone in need at the moment?
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others , too.” Philippians 2:3 & 4 New Living translation
These are thoughts for us to ponder if we desire not to fall prey to spiritual tunnel vision. I have always found letting go of my “to do” list for HIS sake always provided me ample time to get things accomplished much more effectively than I ever could have done in tunnel vision mode. See Matthew 6:33. As an added benefit, you just enjoy life a little more when you expand your field of vision. Try it and FLURISH!