Closely related to my last blog article on the tragedy of not listening, comes this article on the Tragedy of NOT Looking. If you happened to have watched the news over the past few days, you likely have seen footage of circumstances surrounding several additional shootings. You may have seen pictures of the 3 policemen killed in Pittsburgh, or heard about the 4 who were just shot and killed in northern Alabama or even the 5 children in Washington State who were killed before the father shot himself. Do you see a pattern here? Do you see what is happening in many homes across our country? Now, I do not intend to take this article and discuss what needs to change in our homes (Lesson #3 in my Top Ten [tabbed above] will discuss this further). I do want to focus my attention here on sight and the tragedy that comes when we fail to look and thus see as we should.
Sight is arguably our most important sense. It is usually what first captures our attention. It is the best sense to spark our imagination and creativity. It is often what drives our other senses and opinions. Studies show that you remember more of what you see and hear verses something you only hear. Certainly, we can survive without our eyesight, yet we must acknowledge how this would limit us in so many ways.
I often wonder how it is that people can see things and still not properly understand. There is so much we can observe today and we are constantly bombarded with images and video of various things (c.f. also my 02-04-09 Blog: “T.V. and Tragedy”). This makes us more accountable. The fact is, though, that just seeing something is not the same as looking at it. Similar to the difference between hearing and listening is this difference between seeing and looking. When you look at something, you are paying more attention to it; you are examining it and thinking about it further. It is quite possible to see many things and yet never come to the point of looking so that you can understand and thus learn, grow and change accordingly.
Are you desensitized by all of the things that you see? Do the images of all of these shootings and tragedies compel you to respond with proper action or do they more often lull you into a sense of complaining or worse yet, complacency? Do the constant images of sexual situations and acts of violence keep you from looking at what effect this is having in our society? Are you merely seeing these things and accepting them as reality or are you looking and understanding what needs to change? Failing to look and examine what we see will only lead to tragedy.
Jesus Christ not only warned people to be certain they have ears that will hear (or pay attention by listening), He also warned us to have eyes to see—that is eyes that look and examine to remember what they see (c.f. Mark 8:18). He even told the Laodicean Church to anoint their eyes with eye salve, so they could really look and see (c.f. Revelation 3:18).
Dear friend, are you looking to the One Who has perfect sight, understanding and vision? Are you following His Word, which is His will for each of us to follow? If you do not have this spiritual sight, then you are succumbing to the tragedy of NOT really Looking!
Consider and learn from the King James Version rendering of Proverbs 29:18:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”