“The thing about trying to remember your life is it makes you wonder what any of it means. You get the feeling life means something, but you’re not sure what. Life has a peculiar feel when you look back on it that it doesn’t have when you’re actually living it.” Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
I get so focused on seeing something I’ve seen a million times (give or take) that I forget to actually NOTICE what I’m looking at.
For instance – I have had Donald Miller’s book sitting on my ottoman in my den while I read it the past week or so. Since it’s a book my son has had on his bookshelf for a few years, I’ve seen the cover too many times to count. For some odd reason, I had in my mind that the cover was a ferris wheel (close up). Or maybe one of those swing rides at an amusement part (the view being one of looking up into the ride and only seeing the wires of the swings). I was about half-way through the book when I looked down at the cover and realized what was actually pictured.
Spokes in a wheel and a chain.
Man, did I feel dumb. How had I looked at that picture so many times and not realized what it really was?
I had become so convinced that it was an artistic view of an amusement park ride that I just had lost perspective. (My deepest apology, Donald Miller. Just in case you read my musings.)
I’ve lost perspective many times in the midst of difficult or confusing times. I get it in my mind that the story is going to end a certain way. I view a person in my life in a static way that doesn’t allow for growth or change. I get stuck in the mire of my own life by focusing on negatives without ever seeing positives. I’m sure I’m not alone in being myopic.
Now I can’t help but look at that picture and see a bicycle. It’s hard to see anything BUT a bicycle.
Like Miller says in the above quote, it’s hard to see what life means when you are actually living it. Our perspective is blurred and we focus often on the wrong things and become so fixated with them that we don’t see the meaningful things that are all around us. It helps to look away from the murkiness and look back with fresh eyes. Amazing how many times I see things clearer when I take a beat and change my focus.
Note: It did help when I actually read the book and Miller’s story about riding a bicycle. Knowing the backstory helped me see what I was looking at much clearer. 😉