“… Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a musty cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky…” Luke 11:33-36 MSG
“Your eyes are the lamp for your body. When your eyes are good, you have all the light you need. But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark. So be sure your light isn't darkness. If you have light, and nothing is dark, then light will be everywhere, as when a lamp shines brightly on you.” Luke 11:34-36 CEV
When I read this Bible passage in Luke, the parts that stood out for me were “…be sure your light isn’t darkness” (CEV version) and “…If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.” (MSG version)
This week I got to experience squinty-eyed-ness when I let a dark cloud of negativity come over me when I chose to think the worst about someone whom I have worked with and trusted for years.
This narrowing of my eyes, this darkening of my view, pointed at unmet expectations and assumptions.
The closedness of my view squinted out all the good that had existed between us and took me on an emotional journey I didn’t need to be on.
When we got to speak a few days later, my assumptions were unfounded, as assumptions often are, and there was a bigger-than-me picture going on that I would have seen had my eyes been open, had my mind not been on myself.
In the MSG version it says “Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky”. This reminds me that squinty eyes also lead to a closed heart and mind. And if my eyes, mind, and heart are murky then it stands to reason, my view is clouded, and my perception distorted.
In the CSV version it says “… then light will be everywhere, as when a lamp shines brightly on you.” Opening my eyes is exactly like turning on a light switch in a dark room. With light I can see where I am and where I’m going. Ideas and solutions and next steps… in full view. With closed eyes… nothing to see.
Next time I notice my feelings clouding, I will check my eyes.
Am I squinting?
What am I letting, narrow my view?
Is my thinking, blocking the light?
This passage in Philippians reminds me to “live wide-eyed in wonder and belief”
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Philippians 4:8-9 MSG
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash