I've been on a semi-enforced sabbatical from the old blog for quite a while now... and there have been some changes in the ol' Doulos neighborhood.
You'll note that there's a new blog name here... in light of the ongoing conversation here, we decided to retire the "No Pearls" name... we've also changed the URL of the blog to www.eyesopenwide.net (but for a while, the old links will still work), and a word of explanation is likely in order.
I'd like us to see well. That's why I'm writing.
At my semi-advanced age, I think a lot about seeing. I wear reading glasses almost all the time, and am as blind as a bat without my contacts in. At night, Mrs. Doulos laughs regularly at my repeated tendency to slam my foot into the bed in the dark. To see well, I need light.
But I have to admit that's not enough. My Ophthalmologist tells me my prescription is about 20-1 Gazillion... without glasses or contacts, I couldn't see the computer screen here! To see well, I need correction.
But even that isn't enough. Last year I preached monthly at Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago... one night, time was short, my preaching segment was abbreviated, and I was "on a mission" - I was animated, engaged, passionate and intent on staying within my allotted time. I did (barely) and, after the service ended, my pastor (who was visiting that night) came up to me and said this: "I can't believe you did that!"
I was very pleased with my self, thinking that he was complimenting me for my ability to finish a message on time - maybe even for the value of the content. I discovered soon enough, though, that I misunderstood (and this ACTUALLY HAPPENED): Pastor K was impressed that I had continued my message without being terribly distracted by - and I'm not exaggerating - the guy who had THROWN UP in the front row during my message! I don't know if I'm proud or frightened by this fact, but the truth is... I didn't see it at all.
The lights were on and my contacts were in... but I needed more: To see well, I needed to focus beyond my agenda.
And that's what I'm hoping to share here.
I've spent quite a bit of time in the book of Ephesians this last year... what a wonderful book! I've been struck often, though, by Paul's prayer for his readers in Chapter 1, starting in verse 18:
"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."That's my prayer here. That my eyes - and those who read this - would be "enlightened" by God's truth. We're all in the dark spiritually. We all are born blind spiritually. We all are unable to see what's going on around us because we're consumed with our own lives and agendas.
Paul saw those things in the lives of those he cared about in Ephesus. And his prayer was that they would see. That they would see what God had done - and who He is... that they would see who they really were - and what was really important. And it's my prayer too - for me, and for you.
So, we'll start again. I'll welcome your comments - especially in this next series. I'll be posting a series of letters to my children about what really matters. I'm posting it because - well, it really matters, and if I'm wrong, I'm counting on you to weigh in.
I'll explain more in the next post. But for now, let's get started again!
The Eyes Wide Open header is a picture of the caves in Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo, Malaysia.