Sunday, 12 May 2013

Blind Spots & Balance; Perspective & Priorities



Up until just over a year ago our family car was a 14 seater van which required both BB and myself to upgrade our drivers' licences and pass a written and on-road test. BB did his first and then he took me out and had me doing reverse parks etc to get me used to a larger vehicle before I went for the test.
He pointed out to me that there was a large blind spot on the driver's side  - which I was totally unaware of - so I needed to not only check the mirrors but lean forward in my seat so I could see properly before I pulled out of my lane. Just a simple adjustment. I could have found out about the blind spot another way but it would have been very inconvenient at best or perhaps quite disastrous.

Every age has its own blindspots.
How do we avoid the blind spots of our age?


In his book, God in the Dock, C.S.Lewis said:

'Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes.'

And as a way to correct our outlook or see past our blind spots he advised:

'We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. All contemporary writers share to some extent the contemporary outlook—even those, like myself, who seem most opposed to it.'

I know many of us make an art out of finding old books -and take great pleasure in obtaining them very cheaply at times - including myself and I've written elsewhere of the way books have enlarged my thinking and many times these have been older books or books that have been birthed out of a very different generation to my own.

'Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes.'


Perspective & Priorities

Up until I was 19 years of age I had a noticeable Scottish accent but after a major move which took me away from my family and the Scottish influence I'd been brought up under, my accent gradually diminished and now most people wouldn't pick up that I was a Scot unless I bung on an accent (which I can do easily enough).
Perspective is a little like this.
When we are in certain environments we imbibe the atmosphere around us and often getting away or stepping back from those environments reveals how they have influenced us.
Getting a different perspective is important at times - to help us to restore balance or to re-adjust our priorities.

I've felt strongly this past week that I needed to get some perspective.
The internet and communication in general come at a cost.
Time for reflection and stillness is consumed by its distractions and interruptions. Much of it is good but reflection and mulling and sifting through it is needful or we can just go with the flow of whatever is current, swept up and unable to discern, deaf to the still small voice that we need to hear to reveal the blind areas in our lives.

And so this week I stepped back from internet distraction - blogs, forums, emails - to give myself room to think and re-order my priorities.
This week I've been listening to what He is saying without the distraction of other voices.
 I chose a hymn I wasn't familiar with, apart from a few words I've seen quoted in books I've read, More Love to Thee, O Christ, and each morning I've listened to it.
As the week progressed I began to listen to it three or four times each day. The words express where I want my priorities to be and hopefully the heart of what I'm attempting to convey here. Giving myself some mind space and focussing on these words each day has brought freshness and clarity and enabled me to adjust my perspective.

'More love to Thee, O Christ, More love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make, On blended knee; This is my earnest plea:
More love, O Christ to Thee,
More love to Thee, More love to Thee!



5 comments:

  1. Hi Carol,
    I go through times like this quite regularly where I have to gather myself to focus on the important things and come to peace. Stop the busyness and the unfruitful things that compete for my attentions. At the beginning of the year I wrote a post called Focus and Peace. I relate to you about quietening and finding perspective. Thanks for sharing.
    Blessings, Renelle

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    1. Good thoughts, Renelle. Good idea to start the year off with a time of reflection like you described.

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  2. The hymn I've had on my heart is similar: "Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art; I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart. Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul, for by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole."

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  3. Great post! I have the same hymn on my brain as 'walking.' :) I have not ever thought about 'blind spots of our age' before, or read that quote by C.S. Lewis. Recently, however, I listened to a discussion on hymns and songs for worship, and one of speakers recommended choosing a selection of hymns from different periods in Christian history, for the very reasons you mention. We can be thankful to live in a period of history where we can enjoy the riches of so many past ages.

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  4. I haven't heard that hymn before, beautiful words.

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