Ponderings by Doug

How do you look at life, through which viewer?

Some folks look at life microscopically. Their focus is narrow. Most of us were introduced to the microscope in a High School biology class. Do you remember looking into that microscope how something small loomed so large, how something benign looked sinister? In my case, I went through High School looking at the same blasted air bubble. I never could prepare slides! In the microscopic world, that which is small appears large.

You see the microscope people all of the time. Their life is boiled down to what is in their hand. Their world is held in the palm of their hand and through that device they are connected to other like-minded microscope people. While our smart devices open up the world to us, they have limited our abilities to have real interactions and conversations. I am suspicious of those who claim to have authentic cyber relationships. There is too much that you can’t experience through a device. You can’t experience inflection, tone, or body language. Some of these microscopic persons are successful, savvy, and cutting edge, yet their whole life experience is reduced to the size of a smart device. Even the device shrinks as some are enthralled by one of the apps on the device. Some folks are held captive by Facebook. I have actually comforted those who were upset that their lives were not as fairy tale happy as their Facebook friends. I wonder if people on Facebook exaggerate. Do you think they might?

There are other microscopic vision people whose lives are controlled as very small things loom large for them. Their lives are measured by the opening of a bottle of booze, the end of a needle, a pill or any other addiction that holds sway over their daily joy. Microscopic vision happens as something very small looms large over a person’s view and vision of life.

You have also noticed periscope people. These people are floating along under the surface of life. You know they are there because you have experienced their periscope in your life. Think about the people in your life who “don’t get it.” Maybe in your office there is a terrorist. The person who has no regard for the feelings of others yet is hurt when it is pointed out that their behavior is hurtful to others. Periscope people often have foot in mouth disease leaving folks reeling from their insensitivity. I guarantee that family member you don’t want showing up for a holiday event is a periscope person.

Periscope people are often afraid. They will look into another way of being or living, but they lack the courage of conviction to make changes. They don’t follow their calling or refuse to take a chance. They are so busy counting the cost that life passes them by. They see the whole big, glorious ocean of life around them, but they won’t surface and leave the safety of their existential submarine.

On my desk I have a kaleidoscope. They are fun to look through. The colors are beautiful and always changing. The colors are influenced by the quality and quantity of light entering the kaleidoscope. The possibilities of what one will see are infinite. In truth, what one sees through a kaleidoscope is not real. I’m going to suggest the utopians among us look through kaleidoscopes. They believe that some entity is going to right wrongs and bring justice to an unjust world. Kaleidoscope vision leads to the belief that we are one educational program, one regulation, one legislative or one world view away from utopia.

Most of us look through life with all three of these metaphorical ontological viewing devices. I will confess my viewing problems if you confess yours.

Jesus said, “That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.”

Can you see what He was saying?