Sunday, February 06, 2011

"The Big Game" — or "Seeing Isn't Always Reality"

Okay, both crummy titles for this article, but they both apply.

Today is "big game" day: the Stupid Super Bowl. I'm one of those rare insane breeds of men (and, no, I am not gay!) who DESPISE American football!!! I cannot describe how much I hate football. I also can't stand baseball, hockey, bowling, fishing … I've been known to tolerate watching golf, but that was only when I was working in a pawn shop and all the TVs were tuned to the Golf Channel because my co-worker liked it.

In other words, I am the Anti-Jock!

Why, you may ask? There are several reasons. Yeah, I was one of the guys who were bullied & put down by the "jocks" because I wasn't one. Various physical issues, including obesity, "cold-weather asthma" (that's what my mother said once), and being a permanent klutz kept me from being a physical kind of guy.

The reason I hate football the most was that nobody explained the rules to me!

I got the idea about grabbing the ball, running with the ball, and getting it past the big "H" or equivalent. The one thing this budding engineer could not get, though, was how you could have a "first down" when there had been at least a dozen of them already!

In my birth town — or in the school kids in my birth town were assigned to — there was no help or encouragement, though. Only ridicule and judgment. I was "expected" to know all about football, and not even the Physical Education teacher explained it to me. (I should also note that my father had no time for such silliness as sports. Too much work to do. Long story.)

All that in itself could be a blog post, and may be one of these days. Instead, let me focus (pun intended, as you'll see — another intended bit of foreshadowing, as is that word — as you read on) on what I found out years later that made me incompatible with sports.

I couldn't catch.

Well, that's not quite right, either. My hands worked right, and I could catch something that was rolled to me. But I had no idea how far away a ball in flight was from me. I couldn't catch because I didn't know if it was coming at my head, my hands, or would land yards in front of me. Likewise swinging a bat was out of the question, because I didn't know where it would make contact.

Can't imagine this? Try this little experiment. Take an eye-patch or something similar and place it over one of your eyes. Then have somebody throw something at you.

Hard to catch, isn't it?

The problem was, that's what I saw, and had seen my entire life!

I didn't have depth perception. Even when I rode my bicycle or drove my first car, I looked down at the road to judge distance ahead. To this day I still do that. I thought that's how everybody did it.

Then, in 1982, after 9 years of wearing glasses to correct astigmatism, after moving almost a thousand miles away from what was never really my "home town," an optometrist got my eyes balanced. My brain suddenly decided it was time to pay more attention to both eyes … and I gained depth perception for the first time in my life.

My first thought? "So that's the big deal behind those 3-D baseball cards!" (OK, I've always been a bit weird.)

The important point to note here is that I could not see the 3-D effect in those pictures, nor in real life. I thought the world was supposed to look "flat," with only the knowledge that one thing was in front of another. I had no idea that I was designed to see clouds above other clouds, and lower clouds actually below higher clouds.

To this day the sight still can make me stop and gaze in awe.

Consider †his: what you perceive with your eyes, ears, and other senses isn't all that's out there. Even those senses may be crippled, disabled, or deprived in some fashion. Music that's "the right volume" for you may be unbearably loud to someone else (like me, as I've always had excellent hearing). The sound of a child's yell of joy may give someone else a migraine. How you see life — and God — may not be anything like how someone else sees either of them.

That's not their fault or yours.

Neither of you are sinning. You just need healing, just like the rest of the universe.

The atheists I've mentioned in earlier posts cannot see God because their focus is on naturalistic science. Naturalism says our universe runs on its own, without any influence from any god-like being or force. Naturalism says the only thing that's real is what we can perceive with our 5 senses. Science says that everything must follow a cause-and-effect relationship that can be reproduced.

Human pride says that man is at the top of the world.

We cannot see because our spiritual eyesight needs corrective lenses (1 Corinthians 13:11-12). We cannot understand because our spiritual thoughts are asleep. Only with the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit, entering in you when you ask Him to do so, can we see things a little more clearly, and understand things better (1 Corinthians 2:4-16).

Where do you need clearer sight or better understanding?
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