By Shewanda Riley, PhD
It only took me driving 10 minutes away from the optometrist’s office to realize that my new contact lenses were not going to work for me. Things were blurry and I had to squint to clear things up. I shouldn’t have done it while I was driving but I kept closing one eye to see which one had the clearest vision. It was so frustrating! I thought it would take my eyes a few hours to adjust to the new and stronger prescription. But 3 hours and a strong headache later, I realized that the contacts were the wrong prescription. It didn’t matter to me which contact caused the problem; I just wanted the problem fixed.
The very next day I made a follow up appointment to get the contact lens prescription adjusted. During the appointment a few days later, I explained to my eye doctor that my vision with my new left contact was good but that the new right contact seemed to be all blurry. Then I told him that I seemed to see better with the old right contact lens but that the old left contact seemed blurry. He suggested that I try wearing the new left contact with the old right contact. We did a few vision tests in the office while I was wearing the new combination and were both amazed at how much stronger my vision was. In a very weird way, the strength of the new balanced with the reliability of the old.
How is it possible to see better with both old and new things? Maybe it’s that you sometimes need the balance of both new insights and old wisdom to have the most precise vision.
2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us that we are new creations, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!” The Greek word for “passed away” is parerchomai which refers to the passage of time. Things and behaviors don’t necessarily disappear overnight but through the passage of time, we see them with a new, improved vision.
When we change and become new creatures in Christ, some traits stay the same. I was talkative before I got saved and I’m still talkative now that I am saved. Those who loved to dance and sing before they got saved also love to sing and dance once they accept Jesus into their lives. God changes our hearts and renews our minds. With that change there should also be a shift in how we see things, ourselves, and others.
I think God allows this so we can now see from both old and new perspectives. By doing so, we are able to come to a healthy balance between the wisdom we gain from past experiences and the insight we gain from new ones. Our Christian walk is about using wisdom to know how to balance the old and the new. It’s also about allowing God to let us see old things but with a new perspective.
Shewanda Riley (Aunt Wanda), PhD, is a Fort Worth-based author of “Love Hangover: Moving from Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @shewanda. You can also listen to her podcast at www.chocolateauntiepodcast.com.