I got my first pair of glasses when I was eight years old. I’ll never forget the car ride home the day we picked them up. My mom asked me what I thought. My response: “The leaves have shapes.” I can’t tell you how long things had been blurry before that, but the beauty of the trees struck me on that day.
Three years ago I got Lasik and it changed my life. No more feeling for my glasses in the dark. No more smudged or fogged lenses. No more relying on them every waking minute of every day. At my most recent appointment, the doctor informed me that I am still reading at 20/15. Every day since that appointment I’ve looked out my windows and have been in awe of the trees around me. They’re changing. They’re beautiful. And I can see them in detail with my own eyes.
I still do not take my good vision for granted. Someday I will need reading glasses but not today. And not tomorrow. This is a gift.
I don’t always have this outlook on things. I came face-to-face with a hard realization a few months ago. After our car door accidentally scratched another person’s vehicle in a parking lot, I was in turmoil all day. I played it over and over in my mind. Eventually I realized that I wasn’t upset about the scratch or our need to repair it. I was concerned about what the other person thought of me. I failed to protect someone else’s property and I feared to be thought of as careless or irresponsible.
Desiring to have a good reputation is not bad in and of itself. As Jesus followers, it’s important that we work hard to live in peace with others (Romans 12:18) and live properly before unbelievers (1 Peter 2:12). But am I really motivated by a desire to glorify God? Or am I more concerned about my own acceptance? A little of both, I’m afraid.
A desire for approval is not something that I want to dictate my actions. I don’t want it keeping me up at night and it shouldn’t determine how I view myself. It fills my heart and mind with false messages (e.g., you need more stuff, you need better stuff, you are measured by your performance, you are measured by your appearance) that I need to unsubscribe from. That I want to unsubscribe from.
There is no season like the present to work hard on developing new habits. So, in the spirit of thankfulness and gratitude, I am choosing to subscribe to a better mindset.
- I will reach out to others because this is what God tells me to do.
- I will show respect to the people around me because this is what it means to love.
- I will look past the imperfections of others because God has forgiven me of my own.
- I will laugh until it hurts because laughter is a gift.
- I will choose to be thankful because gratitude is a choice.
Words are powerful; both the ones we say and the ones we think. What are you filling your mind with this Thanksgiving?