20/20 Vision is a terminology used when testing the vision of eyes. 20/20 Vision is considered a normal vision in medical terms. Half way through this year this thought came to my mind and I wanted to pen down my thoughts but it never materialised. Today I decided to write it up as 2020 is officially getting over in a matter of few hours though what I am sharing is not just about 2020 but the 20/20 vision.
Every single year we start with new visions, hopes, dreams and plans and when we reflect towards the end of the year there will be wins and fails but most of us persevere and keep pushing forward but few of them give up. This year was different in a way that our visions, hopes, dreams and plans were severely altered by one common factor which was the virus and the management of this virus outbreak.
As I reflect on what I have read, pondered and watched, the virus itself did very little damage compared to the related issues it created which included extended lockdowns, rising mental health issues, suicides, domestic violence, financial hardships and the list keeps going. Even before the year ended, too many people gave up on their dreams, visions, hopes and plans as they couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel but majority of the people I know didn’t lose much in these terms. Just like me they had the privilege to work from home, get a new job or financial assistance. Sadly, majority of these people were the ones supportive of the lockdown and did very less to support or bother to care of those who lost everything. But the best part was that it separated the wheat and the chaff and exposed people to who they actually are compared to who they portray themselves to be.
2020 was all over the place personally for me just like it was for most of us but the best part was the completion of my Diploma of Counselling from Australian Institute of Family Counselling. This course widened my perspective and gave me great insight into the intricacies of relationships and how little we understand each other whether it be parents, siblings, co-workers, partners, community groups, relatives, friends and even best pals. The important lesson that I learned was we generally tend to listen to respond than to actually listen. What a world of difference it makes to actually listen to a person to understand than to respond. When I did more of that I was able to understand more clearly what they were saying beyond the words and I was able to set healthy and safe boundaries in a way that I am accountable for my actions and ensure that the other party is held accountable for theirs too. I learned a whole lot but I just want to focus on these two now which helped me reset my vision back to normal.
Setting healthy and safe boundaries would mean different things to different people but whenever we don’t have an absolute moral standard to go by, we will be overdoing or underdoing things. For me it is the Word of God that sets the standard. I wouldn’t say that I am upholding the standard 100% but I know when I fail and I know where I have to reach and what I have to do to reach to that standard. Gladly as a Christian when I fail, I have the help of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God but it is never an excuse to continue in my ways and expecting things to change but to rise up and move forward and persevere even more with the help of the Holy Spirit.
As this year is coming to an end, as usual we love to have renewed hopes, plans, dreams and visions. What I have learned is to come to the normal 20/20 vision first so that I can start to see things clearly before I can see what is beyond.
In Matthew 6:22,23 Jesus says this
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 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!
There was a quote I read recently
“In our rush to get back to normal, we should ask ourselves ‘what parts of normal are worth rushing back to?’
The answer for me is a normal 20/20 vision which got me more focused on the realities of life, the intricacies of relationships, listening to understand and not to respond and to be accountable and hold others accountable for their actions. In short to live up the standards set by God and not stoop low or go high to the expectations of others.
The Bible clearly says about the nature of people in the last days in I Timothy 3:1-5 and it is a good checklist to see if we relate to any of these. If we relate to one or more of this, it is time to change our behaviour and get back to the right standard.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Several lives have been ebbed out this year due to the virus and issues related to the way this outbreak was handled on top of other deaths. The fact is, we don’t get to live for eternity in this earth but we get to prepare for eternity with our loving Heavenly Father. Our death may precede or succeed His second coming and we all have to stand before that judge. He is a righteous judge and His standards are already set. Just like all other prophecies about Him has been fulfilled and nation of Israel is the very proof of that He will come.
Acts 17:24 – 31
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
Let the new year be a year of renewed hope and renewed passion to seek after things that really matter. Invest time in relationships while at the same time set safe and healthy boundaries, listen more and talk less, be doers and not just preachers and let it reflect in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual areas of our lives.
“God has not promised skies always blue, flower-strewn pathways all our lives through; God has not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain. But God has promised strength for the day, rest for the labour, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love”. – Annie Johnson Flint