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Bifocal Vision

October 12, 2018

One thing I shared with the staff my first week back from sabbatical was how important it is for us to have "bifocal vision." 

You know what bifocal glasses are: the top part allows you to see far off in the distance, all the way to the horizon. The lower part allows you to see something very close to you, things right under your nose.

One of the "insights" I gained from from sabbatical (you see what I did there?) is that you and I -- as individual Christians and collectively, as a church -- need to have bifocal vision.

On the one hand, you and I need to do a better job, with God's help, focusing on Kingdom of Heaven values: we need to do a better job asking ourselves, "what is God's will in this?"

  • We need to have our eyes focused on God's values, God'spreferences. 

  • We need to be focused on what can, most days, seem like far-off fruits of the Spirit: things like love, rejoicing, deep peace, calm patience, spontaneous generosity,  resilient faithfulness, unflappable kindness, and goodness-of-character. 

  • It means keeping our eyes on the big picture, God's better future.  

On the other hand, and at the same time, you and I (again, as individuals and together as a faith community) need to do a better job, with God's help, focusing on specifics, asking ourselves, "what is my role in this?" 

  • We need to have our eyes focused on details

  • It means being the particular part of the body that God calls you to be. 

  • It means paying attention to what is right in front of us, hour by hour, minute by minute. 

  • It means each of us doing fewer things better. 

  • It means having the confidence (and humility!) to say things like "I can do anything, but I cannot do everything." 

  • It means trusting that other parts of the Body of Christ will play their parts, as we play ours, and letting God, not us, be the coordinator: the one who knits it all together for God's purposes. 

That's bifocal vision. It doesn't come instantly, or as easily as slipping on a pair of glasses. But with God's help, over time, through the disciplines of the church, we can all develop it, together. 

See you Sunday,


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