Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)
TITLE: Bifocals, a rite of passage
By Betty Castleberry
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I am a woman of a certain age. Don’t ask me what that age is, because I won’t tell you. Let’s just say it’s that age when they start making the print smaller in the newspapers, the phone book, and on the backs of cereal boxes. My mother once told me when I turned forty, or soon after, I would need glasses. My eye sight had always been perfect, so why would I suddenly need glasses? As usual, though, Mother was right. I was trying to paint one day, and noticed the detail work I was attempting was blurry. The closer I got, the more blurry it became. This was it, the thing Mother had warned me about. It was time to see the eye doctor.
I made an appointment, and as I settled myself into the exam chair, I noticed the eye chart across the room had a couple of lines that I couldn’t read. After a plethora of clicks and blurs and machines being placed up to my eyes, the doctor told me there was nothing at all wrong with my vision. When I asked him why I was having trouble seeing, he simply said, “It’s a natural aging process. You just need bifocals, and you’ll be fixed up good as new.”
Bifocals?! Aging process?! Well, just shoot me now, because there was no way I was going to wear BIFOCALS. They were for old people. People who were hunched over and used canes to walk. People who drank prune juice every morning for regularity. That was the bifocal crowd.
Then I thought back on a time recently when I was reading with my granddaughter. For the record, grandmothers are very young these days. When I told my granddaughter I was having trouble seeing the words, she held the book closer to my eyes. Of course, that it only made it worse. I wanted to be able to read with her, and do the things I loved, like painting, so reluctantly, I left the eye doctor’s office that day with a pair of bifocals on their way.
When I got the phone call that my glasses had come in, I was not really excited to go get them, but since I had spent the price of a mini vacation on them, decided I had better go pick them up. I wore them to church the following Sunday. What a difference they made! I could actually see the small print in the bulletin without squinting and holding it out in front of me a mile. I was even able to look at the hymn book and see the words to the songs clearly. Now I could actually sing and not just move my lips. How embarrassing it had become to loudly sing out, “Jesus knows our ebony walrus. Take it the Lord in prayer.” No more of that!
I began to actually enjoy wearing my glasses. It was a pleasure not to strain to thread a needle or read a recipe. I had come to depend on my bifocals, and I was not alone. Many other people my age were also getting them. It was sort of a rite of passage into middle age.
Sometimes, our walk with Christ becomes a bit blurry. Instead of depending on Him, we try to muddle through on our own and don’t see things clearly. Spending time in prayer can strengthen our relationship with Him. When we are troubled, or just need a friend to give our burdens to, He is always there. Prayer can be your rite of passage into a closer relationship with Christ. Learn to rely on it. It’s even better than bifocals.
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