The week before Christmas, with many gifts unwrapped and projects unfinished, I came down with pink eye. I had never had it before, so at 54 years old with a goopy, itchy eye, I became quite disabled. For three mornings I woke up with my eye sealed shut with the crusty infection. During the day, it would itch so much that I would have to lay down with a hot cloth over my eye and just rest. This isn't something that I normally do - especially during the holidays - to lay down with nothing but my thoughts. I did a lot of thinking.
One of the things I thought about was the precious gift of sight. Having had Lasik surgery 4-5 years ago, I still have the doctor's orders in my memory, "Do not rub your eye!" And so, as I rubbed and rubbed, I would worry about whether it was possible to move that top layer around and injure the eye further or even go blind. I'm not sure if people who have never had eye surgery would worry about that over a simple case of pink eye, but I did.
At one point, laying on the bed at John's house, I was thinking about what my life would be like if I went blind. Although my mind turned to something that I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit, I am actually glad that it happened. It was a moment of clarity about where my focus should be in the New Year. John and his son were in the living room watching television which I could barely hear and I lay in the quiet bedroom with a warm cloth over my eye. I thought, "If I were blind, I would not be so distracted by other things. If I were blind, I would focus more on Christ and prayer." Within seconds of this thought, I was incredibly aware of what had justs gone through my mind and I was humbled. I really need to remember that and focus more on Christ. I need to learn how to overcome distractions to devote myself to Him.
I was finally able to drive and make it back to the Beach House on Sunday night and I awoke in the morning to a thick fog over the Chesapeake Bay and the lovely song of fog horns from the ships out on the bay. As I sat in the back room listening to the fog horns and drinking my morning coffee I thought about the beauty of that lonesome, mournful sound. Ships calling out in the fog to one another, "I'm here! Take note!" My thoughts went to my previous musings about being blind, and I felt instantly that God was underscoring that with the sound of the fog horns. The Lord said, "I'm here! Take note!"
I am not a New Year's Resolution type of person. Seriously. I'm not in bad shape, but I am not motivated so much by creating challenges for myself. I seem to focus more on relationships than getting in shape. In 2014, I enjoyed some wonderful milestones and a few setbacks. I'm pretty happy with my life and I don't feel like I would be happier if I weighed less or made more money. But I do feel the yearning for a closer relationship with my maker. I remember how I felt when I relied on Him more and I do want to work to get that back. I remember my morning coffee and Bible reading and how that set the tone for my day. I remember the fellowship I felt when I belonged to a church and I miss that.
In many ways, my relationship with God is better than it was back then and in others it's not. I think the best place to start may be what I was shown in the week leading up to Christmas. Be still, close your eyes, just wait on the Lord's fog horn and follow that sound.