Training Your Eyes To SEE
Doctor, my eyes have seen the years And the slow parade of fears without crying Now I want to understand I have done all that I could To see the evil and the good without hiding You must help me if you can Doctor, my eyes Tell me what is wrong Was I unwise to leave them open for so long 'Cause I have wandered through this world And as each moment has unfurled I've been waiting to awaken from these dreams People go just where there will I never noticed them until I got this feeling That it's later than it seems Doctor, my eyes Tell me what you see I hear their cries Just say if it's too late for me Doctor, my eyes Cannot see the sky Is this the prize for having learned how not to cry.
Jackson Browne - Doctor My Eyes
"Doctor My Eyes" by Jackson Browne was one of the first songs I remember as a kid. I had no idea regarding the depth of the lyrics, I just enjoyed it. As I have gotten older, I have listened with fondness and reflection. I think Jackson was onto something that our society needs that is only found through Jesus. It is the ability to see and respond differently.
Our culture is full of quips around the subject of seeing. My personal favorite is, "You can't unsee that." Jesus actually had a lot to say about sight, including the way we take in information and interpret a situation. Look at this portion of scripture.
The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Luke 11:34
Jesus here, in addressing the Pharisees and lawyers is not necessarily speaking about seeing per se, but how you see and how that interpretation of what you see affects all seeing in the future. If the condition of your eye is good, then what you see is good. The word “good” is to unify a braid twisted together. It speaks of a singleness, a unity of sight.
In other words, if you can pull together a unity of goodness in your sight/insight, then your eye will be trained to see good.
In science today there is a lot of information about sight and its connection to the brain. For instance, we know that if you buy a car of a certain color and make, then as soon as you get that car, where the streets used to seem empty of it, now you see that car everywhere. Your brain has a system called the reticular activating system which, in effect, filters out all unwanted and unneeded information from your ability to process leaving only what you would consider important and relevant to your life processes. It is the gatekeeper of information for what gets into your mind.
In other words, your brain can be trained to see!
What you focus on, what you remind yourself of, what you believe is what you train your brain to see!
Jesus gave two contrasts, one if your eye is trained to see the good, and the second, when your eye is “bad”. Now "bad" in this context is the word "poneros", full of the evil and hardship that wears you down, and you only see evil about you. It consumes you. Your body becomes full of darkness.
If you train your RAS, or your eyes, as Jesus put it to see the bad in every situation, you will major on seeing what God is not doing and only what the enemy is trying to accomplish. Your belief system will become clouded and run your input. In the words of Jesus, your entire body, life, will be full of darkness. God could be moving all around and you will not see Him.
This is why Jesus is saying to train your eye for light through seeing good. Change the way you talk and you change the way you think. Change the way you think and you will change the way you see. Change the way you see and you change the way you live.
Where to Start
Try the exchange method that God uses in Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)
To console those who mourn in Zion,To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
So instead of saying:
"I am not great at this", instead say, " I am great at this and getting better all the time."
"I am always late", instead say, "I am always on time."
"I cannot lose weight" instead say, "I am great at losing weight."
Now, that's just the things that don't last in life. What if your agreement with God began to permeate your daily self talk, in other words, your confession (homolegeo - to say the same thing) began to reflect God's reality about life?
You might start saying things like,
"God always moves when things seem impossible!"
"God is my healer."
"God is working to change me everyday."
"God is at work in our government."
"God is doing great things in our world."
As you say those things, you will change the way you think. Change the way you think and you will change the way you see. Change the way you see and you will change the way you live and the lives of those around you.
This is why believers are always exhorted to "get into the word". It is so you can begin to change how you talk about things to change your RAS, the natural way of saying that the renewal of the mind begins in an immersion into truth!
By the way, I wrote this column because of my daily time in Life Journaling this week. It really is that practical to be in God's word daily. If you find yourself in need of basic training in Christ and or a refresher, "Rooted" a half day seminar coming October 23rd is for you! Be sure and sign up here.
God is always at work! Why, "For He, who began a good work in you shall complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6.
For Fun and Going Deeper
The RAS Explained - you have to go to Youtube to watch this one...