Traveling around as a chaplain I find dirty windows get on my final nerve. There have been times I have pulled over in a parking lot to clean the streaks, filth, or road grime which accumulated on my windows. When sunlight hits the window at just the right angle it adds to the glare and distorts my vision further. During the winters we struggle with a brine solution the road departments place down to help with clearing snowy roads. It gets splashed on your windows from the vehicles in front and you go through gallons of washer fluid keeping the windows clear. I have tried a myriad of cleaners and solutions to get them as clean as possible. I have used baking soda or soda pop to neutralize the road acids. I have made solutions of ammonia, vinegar, Dawn and newspapers to get them clean. Of course, I have purchased the stand-by Windex or other glass cleaners, but still, the windows remain streaked. Nothing I do gets them completely clean!
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
Matthew 6:22-23 NIV
Jesus sandwiches this passage amid his teaching on the Mount. The listeners are common people with the common concerns of daily life. Food, shelter, clothing are just some of the problems on their minds. Now fast forward two-thousand years and our needs have not changed much. We strive just like those Jesus taught for these and even more and as we strive for more and more our eyes become cloudy. Our eyesight changes from healthy to unhealthy as we changed the direction of our eyes. It becomes a slippery slope when the peace promised by the angel over Bethlehem disappears as we seek things and not Him. Jesus asked those to consider the darkness which comes from unhealthy eyes. In John 1:5 NIV, John tells us that God is light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. As our eyes become unhealthy, what happens to our view of God? Our thoughts of God, faith, Jesus, church become clouded from our dirty eyes. The distortion increases until we can no longer see clearly. Peace is replaced with strife, confusion, and dismay as the things we seek cannot fill the hole in our souls like God did. The solution to the problem of our streak-filled windows (eyes)–the right cleaning solution–pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, just like others who have a pure heart.
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:20-22 NIV
We need to pull over, stop and change directions! We may also need to change posture from standing to kneeling as we turn back to HIM. Focus on what God has called us for–to live unparalleled lives in him. He has called the weak things of this world to glorify him by actions, words, and worship. The things which distort our vision may be the very things we need. But, do we need God more?