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.
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.