I’m not old, I am the proud owner of varifocals. Numerous of my so-called friends have suggested they should hang on a gold chain around my neck, and seem to think they are indicative of my increasingly decrepit and aged frame. Some have tortured me with tales of dizziness, of inability to see, of expensive (and believe me they cost oodles of dosh) glasses abandoned in a drawer. But I am resolved. I’ve been wearing them all afternoon, to read, type and walk round the house. I am moving my head a lot, and it sometimes feels as though my eyesight is worse, not corrected. However, I am getting there. Another day or two, and I suspect they will feel natural. It’s just a matter of getting used to a different lens, a different way of looking.
Different ways of looking are good for us. It can take a leap of imagination to picture a set of circumstances from someone else’s viewpoint, but we do it all the time. As a Christian priest, I should always be looking out for God in action in lives and situations. It’s part of my job, and of my calling, and I love asking the question “where is God here?” and seeing if I can find an answer. I believe that God is always there, always. Sometimes it can be hard to see where.
I’ve got an essay to write about this process of looking for God (the churchy term is “Theological Reflection”), and I’m looking forward to thinking about how different ways of looking suit different people. We get set in our ways and patterns of thinking. I suspect I need varifocals for my brain, as well as for my eyes, just to get me looking at life differently.