In the Blink of an Eye

I read something interesting today. It takes less than 3/10 of a second for your eyelid to react to the sight of a foreign intruder and immediately snap shut, protecting it from being harmed.

Less than 3/10 of a second!

I started thinking about that. As an early glasses wearer (I got my first pair in the third grade), I’m no stranger to eye exams. I even had a traumatic experience in junior high when my new contact lenses scratched my corneas and I had to go to the Emergency Room for treatment. Between the exam, the pain, and the drops, by the time I arrived back home with a patch on each eye, I promptly fainted in my driveway as my parents were helping me inside.

That experience is why I turned down a free Lasik surgery a few years later, a decision I’ve always regretted.

But your eyes are delicate and I was scared.

So here I am, dozens of vision prescriptions later and somewhat knowledgeable of all things ocular when I stumble on this little factoid.

And I’m intrigued.

Because the discovery pertained to a verse.

Proverbs 7:2 Keep my commands and live, protect my teachings as the pupil of your eye.

Reading this verse opened up my spiritual eyes as well.

Yes, we close our eyes when something’s about to fly in. We also close our eyes when we see something scary, or something inappropriate, or something hurtful.

It’s a human mechanism. Our eyes shield us, not only physically, but mentally as well.

It’s why I watch those daring acts on America’s Got Talent with my hands over my face. I look out from tiny slits in my fingers. Even I think it’s quite ridiculous, but I can’t help it. I guess I figure if my eyes are partially obstructed, I’ll be able to fully shut them out faster if something goes wrong.

So we protect our eyes. But the verse isn’t about how to protect our eyes, that part is already understood when Solomon is writing.

We are to protect the Lord’s teachings just as we protect our eyes.

Do we?

I know I don’t. In fact, when temptation comes (whether it’s laughing at sin-filled movie or entertaining revenge) it takes me a lot longer than 3/10 of a second to rebuke it.

Sure, some of the others ARE rebuked that easily. Some that I struggled with in the past are outta my head before they even land.

But not everything.

Just last week, I was sitting at a red light, having a great morning when BAM! The lady in front of me decided she was in the wrong lane, and not seeing me, she backed right into my car.

I was not over it in 3/10 of a second.

However, I knew that by the time I talked to her, I had to be gracious and understanding.

So I sat in my car for about 7 minutes.

By the time we got out, I was polite and reassured her that I was fine. I was fine; I’d had a few seconds to prepare as she started to back up, bracing myself for the inevitable when she didn’t respond to my horn.

I could’ve been a tad more compassionate. I could’ve asked how she was. I could’ve asked how the passengers were. At the time, though, I was just proud of myself for not even having to fake being nice after I was wronged. That was progress.

But what about the bigger things?

Our eye notices, processes, and corrects impending doom in less than 3/10 of a second. We see a train barreling down the tracks and just stand there, hoping it won’t hit us but never bothering to move.

Protect his commands and live….

If not, you may not die a physical death, but you’ll almost certainly die a spiritual one.

Don’t fill your new house with old junk…

Proverbs 24:3-4 

 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:

 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

I remember when our neighbors in Louisiana moved into their new house. In fact, I remember it so vividly because construction had finished two months prior and they hadn’t yet moved.

“Why haven’t y’all moved in yet?” I asked. If I’d just built my dream home, I’d have moved in while the crew was packing, I thought to myself.

“Because we are filling it with all new stuff. I’m not even bringing a single dish to the new house and I’m not moving in until I’ve replaced every last thing.”

Well, it made sense. Sort of. I mean, her rejects still looked like a page out of Better Homes and Gardens and my furnishings screamed Goodwill-meets-Dumpster Salvage. So I didn’t completely understand.

Until today.

Twenty-two years later as I’m studying Proverbs, I came across the verse above.

The bottom line was, she didn’t want to put her old junk in her new house.

And yet, as Christians, we do it all the time.

We have this new vessel, sanctified and set apart unto Christ. And it starts clean and pure.

But slowly we start bringing the junk from our old house over. We stick it in a closet because we don’t want to get rid of it, just in case we need it. We decide we can’t live without some of that old stuff and put it right there in the foyer.

My friend Susan is about to move into a new house. She and her family are super excited, as evidenced by the fact that her teenage boys began packing on their own. If you’ve ever had teenage boys you understand how huge that is.

But before they move, Susan wants to be sure to gather all the garbage from her trash cans so she can move them into her new house. Leftover food, paper scraps, discarded shoes…it’s important that she get it all before they settle in.

Of course, that part isn’t true. The last thing she wants in her new house is old trash. It sounded absurd to even think about doing that.

And yet, we do it all the time….

SILLY MAN, SERIOUS CONVO

Growing up our kids called these floppy balloons “Silly Man” and we’d always see who could find one first on a long car trip. They were big, they were weird, and they grabbed your attention. As the kids grew up, I became immune to the sight of them, often passing by without noticing them.
Then one day, the Lord spoke to me.

See that Silly Man?

Well, yeah. It’s ridiculous, huh?

No, really look at it.

Okay, it’s green. It’s blowing in the wind. Its arms are going everywhere.

What else?

It’s bending over in a way I haven’t been able to since the 90’s?

What else?

Um, well, the feet don’t move. It’s like they are rooted in cement.

So no matter how much it blows, it’s...

Not going anywhere. It’s firmly anchored. Ohhhh…

That’s right. When your feet are so firmly rooted in Christ, you can be blown all over the place but you will not be destroyed.

And (I’m really getting into the analogy at this point) I bring joy to some people and look silly to others but the main thing is, I’m there for a purpose…to draw others to Christ.

And, of course, there’s always that slight admonishment because I still get a little hoity-toity at times…

And just because some others look like Silly Men when they minister, you shouldn’t assume they aren’t rooted in Me either…

Yikes, I do that, don’t I?

Sometimes. But the main lesson is to remember the feet. Always keep them firmly rooted.

How?

Through reading the Word. Through daily communication with Me. Through LISTENING more than talking. Through trusting Me. Through turning to Me when all else fails.

Done, done, and done. I think I’m going to like being a Silly Man.

You always do, my dear, you always do!

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. Psalm 40:2