A new pair of sunglasses gave Kathleen Billings a fresh perspective on how she views life.
Last year my husband Troy and I were blessed to take a trip to the beautiful Cayman Islands. Troy was awarded this amazing all-expense-paid trip, through the generosity of his employer. While on the island, Troy and I were also both gifted with very high-end Maui Jim sunglasses. Before I put my new sunglasses on, I remember remarking to Troy, “Why would anybody pay $300 for a pair of sunglasses?” The moment I put the sunglasses on, though, I immediately understood the answer to my question. Everything I saw through my new shades was suddenly much brighter. Details were more vivid. I could see clearly without squinting.
The only sunglasses I have ever owned have been cheap, low-end sunglasses; therefore, I never realized the difference a pair of well-made sunglasses could make until I put my Maui Jim shades on. I simply was unaware of the value of these sunglasses. This is not a commercial for Maui Jim sunglasses, (although I definitely would recommend them if you’re in the market and it fits in your budget,) -- rather, wearing these sunglasses reminded me that the way we each view life depends upon the lens through which we are viewing life.
I recall the first few months I wore my sunglasses while I was driving. My children often heard me commenting how green the grass looked or how blue the sky appeared. They always replied, “Mom, you sure love those sunglasses!” It was as if I was seeing everything around me through a different lens. I was able to focus on what was before me and see it for what it genuinely was.
How we view life depends upon the lenses through which we are looking. Our upbringing, life experiences, successes, and failures help form the lens through which we each view life. The way we see things forms our beliefs and drives our actions, or lack thereof. Occasionally our vision becomes clouded and we need to clean our glasses in order to see with clarity. When my sunglasses are tainted, I know it. Things look blurry, I can’t see very well, and I would rather take them off than have them on.
If you feel unsettled or bitter, or carry anger around with you, perhaps it is time to get yourself a new pair of “sunglasses.” Take inventory of your life and ask yourself why you believe what you do. Why do you carry anger and resentment around? Why do you feel unsettled? Are you viewing life with clear and sharp vision?
The decisions we make, based on the lens through which we view life, have incredible weight. Never underestimate the power of your choices. Do your everyday “sunglasses” help you view life in a way that enriches other’s people’s lives? Do they draw you closer to God? Do they help you become the best version of yourself each day?
Perhaps your glasses need adjusting or a thorough cleaning, or maybe it’s time to take your blinders off and trade them in for a new set of “glasses.” You will only pass through this earthly life one time, so make it a priority to see life through the proper lens. To see things for what they really are, rather than what you perhaps perceive them to be, is priceless.
Copyright 2020 Kathleen M. Billings
Image: Garon Piceli (2018), Pexels
About the Author
Kathleen Billings blogs at seasonsoftheheartandhome.com. She writes about living her faith in every season, as a wife and a mother of five, amidst the ordinary moments each day that God wants to make extraordinary. She has a BA in Theology, is a regular blogger on marriage for the USCCB Website, a contributing author to the book "Amazing Grace for Mothers," and an active Catholic speaker.