Someone asked me this week: "Don't you think you'll eventually run out of thoughts to share?" And I’ll admit that there are weeks when it’s hard to organize a thought. However, for the most part, it’s not hard to find something new to share with you because life is so complex. There is so much going on in the life of a human being. The life of a wild animal for example, is simple: they eat, cover their territory, and sleep. They don’t have true feelings. They don’t have a soul. We are the most complex creatures in all of creation. So, there will always be new happenings, feelings & emotions, and experiences nearly on a daily basis. Therefore I’ll always have something new to write or talk about.
Chapter 7 in my book is titled “Through A New Lens”, and I discuss the fact that after my life-altering accident, I’m viewing life through a completely new lens. However, the concept of the need to look through a new lens isn’t limited to viewing life differently as a whole. Some of us need that wake-up call. I did, and I got it in full force. But I would say that on a weekly basis, we face situations in work, school, or family where we have to draw back, re-focus, and look thru a different lens. I’m out and about a lot as a Speaker, Mentor, Pastor, Chaplain at the local hospital, Substitute Teacher in the local schools, and Youth Sports Coach. Sometimes I find time to sleep even. J But the reason I mention all those roles is because it gives me a huge scope of different demographics and environments to make this next statement from. I watch people all the time who are frustrated with their circumstances or outcomes and they fail to realize they’ve been viewing it thru the same old foggy, scratched, lens for too long. I promise you that if you dig in the same hole for long enough, you’ll eventually have yourself a grave.
I think the title of this thought gives you the remedy: stop digging for a moment, step back, and view your circumstance through a clean, new lens. We’ve all likely heard it said, “Why fix what ain’t broke?”. But the opposite is also true, “Why keep breaking it if it’s already broke.” When I encourage and mentor people, I always try to remember to first discover if it’s the right time to talk about something. If you try to talk about the right thing, at the wrong time, you’ll be further breaking what’s already broke. But when the time is right, and there’s a fresh new lens in your goggles, you can see clearly what it takes to fix the brokenness. Sounds easy, right? It’s not. But when you’re starting with a fresh, clean view, at least you see where you want to be.
When I was riding snowmobiles, one of my fortes, I guess you’d call it, was technical tree riding. We’d pick a semi-open tree section, usually on a steep slope, with some paths barely wide enough for a snowmobile. Then they’d film the technical maneuvers it took to get rapidly ride through that section in a couple feet of fresh powder. All tree riders would agree that one thing that will nearly make you go insane, is foggy goggles. I’’ll never forget when my film company 509, first launched their goggle line, which has now become one of the top-rated and best-selling goggles in the industry. They were the first company to make a snowmobile-specific goggle with proper padding and ventilation for our conditions. They hardly ever fogged up and it was such a relief to be able to see your intended line clearly. To travel through those tight lines, the key was to stop riding right off the tip of your skis, and ride out as far ahead of yourself as you could see. I’d find that tree or tight spot that I was headed for, as far out there as I could clearly see, and then as I closed in on it, I’d keep moving my focus out ahead of me. So, when I got to a tree or tight spot, I was prepared, and already had my maneuver planned. But if your lens was foggy, you found yourself squinting and second-guessing, and it ultimately added stress to your ride. What a great concept in life! The consequences of foggy snowmobile goggles is getting stuck or hitting a tree. Sure, you might break a few parts or cost yourself some added labor, but the consequences of a foggy lens in life, are much more serious, because you can’t simply replace broken parts, or get unstuck in 5 min. Your foggy life lens might mean you collide with someone else and cause them to crash too. And replacing life’s broken parts is much more costly.
Friend, stop squinting, stop guessing, stop stressing so much about your path in life. Pull the brake lever, shut the motor down temporarily, and get a fresh lens. That fresh lens might require counseling or help from friends, looking to God for direction, or it might be as simple re-focusing in the moment. But whether it’s a work project, relationship, or personal battle, choose to either wipe off your foggy lens or replace it all together. Wake up each morning and view your day through a new lens.