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The Elephant In My Eye
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81774202462Had a little bit of an adventure with my vision this week. During our time at the New Room Conference in Nashville, I noticed a new “floater” in my right eye that kind of slowly appeared as I was participating in one of the marvelous worship services there. Over the course of Friday it kind settled into my field of vision and became terribly annoying. Being a bit of a hypochondriac, I decided to make an appointment with my ophthamologist first thing on Monday morning. Good thing I did.


Turns out that the cause of the floater was a very small tear at the edge of the retina–the result of aging and being very nearsighted (or as the doc put it, “Congratulations–you are old.”). The doc fixed the tear up pretty quickly with a laser treatment, essentially welding the tear and preventing anything more drastic from happening. The floater? Well, he said, it’s going to be there for a few weeks until your eye eventually absorbs it. Awesome.


The floater, when I focus on it, is kind of shaped like an elephant. I have decided to call him “Frank.” He floats around in my vision, not preventing me from reading or driving or doing my normal stuff, but is just present enough to be annoying. He dances when I move my eyes and only disappears when I’m asleep.


I do not like Frank.


But I’ve also come to realize that Frank is, perhaps, an icon of a spiritual lesson that I’ve been learning lately. When I don’t think about Frank, or when I am able focus beyond him, he fades more into the background. It’s only when I give him attention that he really bugs me. It reminds me of that whole idea of the “elephant in the room”–that thing that is always present but no one wants to talk about. In this case, though, it’s the elephant in the eye!


Frank reminds me that I tend to give a lot of attention to those things that are immediately in front of me, especially those things that cause stress; those elephants in the room. We all have them–those short term stresses that can take all of our focus but we don’t want to talk about. When I focus on those things, they dominate my visual field and my vision for the future. It’s hard to see beyond them. But when I focus outward, push those things aside in my mind, the future and God’s purposes become a lot clearer. Eventually, those things that stress us out tend to fade with time. When I keep my eyes and my hopes focused on God’s future, it puts the elephant into perspective.


I hope and pray that Frank will depart for greener pastures soon. In the meantime, he’s a constant reminder that those elephants in the room need not dominate our lives. God is always in control and it’s his future that matters. His vision is always clear.

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