I’ve safely arrived at the Committee on the Uniform Series meeting in Corpus Christi. Last night Michael Fink did a great presentation about learning and teaching in which he made an interesting point about how people see. The human retina actually perceives objects flipped on both a vertical axis (i.e., like the inverted image one sees in a mirror) and on a horizontal axis. In effect, the picture our eyes send to our brain is upside-down and backwards from the reality that actually exists in nature.
So why don’t we perceive that this is the case? It’s because our brains know how to unscramble the signal and turn everything back to the way it is supposed to be. Unless something goes terribly wrong, this works automatically and we don’t even know we’re doing it.
That is how physical sight works, but I (following Michael’s lead) am wondering about spiritual sight. Our ability to unscramble the data we pick up from the spiritual realm is not nearly as precise as the mechanism of sight that exists in our brains. That is why spiritual truths often still look upside-down and backwards to us. Jesus says the first shall be last and the last shall be first, and we say, “That can’t be.” Or he tells us that those who lose their lives will save them, and those who try to save their lives will lose them. We respond, “That doesn’t make sense.”
Maybe we can look at something like Lent as the equivalent of a spiritual eye exam, or perhaps trying on a pair of corrective lenses, to hone our spiritual sight and bring it into conformity with how things really are, not as we see them to be.