I pulled out onto the highway and drove at least a mile before I noticed him–a tiny lady bug stuck smack dab in the middle of my windshield! (Isn’t it ironic that lady bugs are male? I digress. . .)
Attempting to keep my eyes focused on the road and the cars around me, I stared all around that little bug. I looked above him, below him, and on either side of him. But, I tried not to look directly at him or a strange thing would happen.
I couldn’t see anything else.
Well, I could see, just not clearly. It was physically impossible to stare directly at the little bug and to safely distinguish the road and cars around me.
My contact lenses were in. As long as I ignored the spec and kept my eyes looking into the distance and around me, my vision was fine.
But, the second I started focusing on the centimeters long insect, everything else became a blur–like one of those pictures where only the item in the foreground is in focus and everything else is fuzzy.
I drove for miles and miles testing my eyes. I’d stare at the little bug and then realize how dangerous it was to drive that way and readjust my eyes to look at the big picture through my windshield.
Why does this happen? It’s actually a vision phenomena called “pseudo” myopia (nearsightedness). I write for a vision company and, this little guy was giving me good material to test the quirky way our eyes work for my next post.
But, as I continued to drive down the road, I think the Lord revealed to me an even bigger lesson from that bug on my windshield. One that wasn’t about my eye sight at all. Instead, He showed me something about my focus, my life’s vision and my body image issues.
Body image issues are a bug on the windshield of our future.
If we fixate on that little Lady Bug, everything else around us looks out of focus. We can’t clearly see the good, the real beauty, and the opportunities around us because we are so focused on our physical appearance. Unless we keep our distance vision in focus, we miss opportunities to serve others, to grow spiritually, and to love our neighbors.
Neither can we clearly see how minuscule our body image problems are (compared to the wide scheme of the world) while we are expending all of our visual strength to stare only at them. We exacerbate the problems by keeping our focus solely on them.
In other words: the bug looks a whole lot bigger than it actually is when you are only staring at it.
Here’s a great example we’ve probably all experienced. Have you ever looked in the mirror and found a new pimple on your face? When you stare into that glass for the next day or so you can’t see anything else except for that fresh, red dot. You miss seeing the big picture of your face’s reflection and can only see that one glaring blemish.
But then, perhaps you’ve also had this reality check happen. You arrive at work or school and mentioned the pimple to a friend as if it has eaten your entire face and your friend responds, “Oh, I really didn’t even notice it!”
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that the enemy keeps us focused on our perceived body flaws so that the future will stay fuzzy. Nothing is more dangerous to him than a woman who is confident in her faith and in passionate pursuit of the destiny for which God has designed her.
This is how body image issues affect our futures in an adverse way.
The body image bug on the windshield can keep us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. I couldn’t very well drive to any destination focusing on that insect the whole time. I would have certainly crashed the car or, at a minimum, missed my exit and turns to get home.
It’s only when I’m able to look past the bug, and stop fixating on my perceived body flaws, that I am free to move forward with purpose and fulfill God’s destiny for my life.
Is body image a bug on the windshield of your future? Don’t let it distort the vision for your future.