The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 4, 2014

Learning to see the higher purpose

Keeping The Faith By Bev Davis (1949-2010)

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Jan. 16, 2010.

From the number of e-mails I received this week, I’m encouraged I wasn’t the only person in a mood to whack snow lovers with a snow shovel. The stress of coping with winter’s wrath has evidently made lots of us short-tempered and, if you’re like me, a bit grumpy.

Better weather has definitely helped, although sunny days allowed me to get out and find ice damage to my home and a mass of ice ready to take down my TV cable. Fortunately, both have been repaired, but in the middle of it all, I lost a contact lens and had to schedule an appointment with my eye doctor.

To cut back on expenses, I skipped my exam last year and was enduring blurred vision through contacts that no longer served me well.

Driving away from the appointment I realized how easy it is to get priorities out of order. What in my budget could be more important than my vision? And yet, it was just another of those things I take for granted. Without it, I couldn’t do the job I do, enjoy the visual beauty of life around me, drive a vehicle or see the humorous glint of mischief in the bunny’s eye just before he gets on the cat’s one last nerve.

Vision plays a key role in my life, and I won’t soon take that for granted again.

I’d been wearing glasses for a few days and remarked to the doctor I seem to see better with them than with contacts. He said, “Well, with glasses, you have both eyes working together, and there’s no substitute quite as good.” My contacts are adjusted individually with one eye focused on distance, the other up close. Monovision, as it’s called, allows my over-40 eyes to see without the need for reading glasses.

Later that day, I heard a sermon on the car radio. The minister talked about the twin virtues of faith and hope and talked about the need to see life with both. Coincidence? I think not.

Faith is the vision focused on a goal, such as to please God or develop a stronger Christian character, he said. Hope is the energy that keeps us going when we can’t really see much going on. I needed to hear that.

When I think of how easily I’ve waffled under the strain of coping with all the winter woes that have come my way, I’m ashamed to say I’ve wavered when it comes to seeing the situation with hopeful eyes.

I do believe God has taught me a great deal through all these situations, and I truly believe He deserves our praise and honor in spite of circumstances we see. “Faith,” the minister said, “is not believing God will do what you want Him to do, but believing He will do what is best.”

I wanted God to make all the bitter cold weather and snow go away — for good. God wanted to do some work on my spiritual vision and make me see there’s always a higher purpose in every circumstance.

It’s hard to stay focused, but I’ve caught a second wind. I hope we don’t get another blast like the one we’ve had, but if we do, I’m praying for double vision — to be able to see through the eyes of faith and hope.