Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thoughtful About . . . Blinders

Blinders--we all wear them. Those things that keep us from seeing things, or at least from seeing them clearly. With horses, they're used to keep the animals on track, to keep them from getting distracted. But for us? Hmm . . .

I often find myself with blinders in relation to my writing, especially when I've been working hard on a project. In those times, we tend to get too close, too involved. We go cross-eyed. What do you expect when you read through the same three chapters eight times in two days, right? I was just there last week with a proposal I was readying for my agent. "It's probably rough," I told her, though I honestly couldn't be sure. "I can't really see it at this point."

Then there's my house. I can honestly say that after something has been in the same place for a week or so, I just don't see it anymore--even if that means it never gets puts away, LOL. This is why the mess remains so long here. Mommy just doesn't pay attention. And the others in my family are even worse about this so . . .

The cure for blinders, in my experience, is distance. After a week or two or away from a project (a month is even better), I can evaluate weak spots and strong spots. I can see where work needs to be done. (In the case of this particular proposal, my agent acted as the distance, showing me where to tweak and otherwise assuring me that, whether I could see it or not, it was ready to be sent.) 

The same goes for my house. After a few days away, I come in and go, "Hey, why is that still sitting there? I should put that away . . ." I can see what I haven't been able to see. Where I need to work. What I need to do.

But what about me? See, I can never get distance from myself, LOL. I can't take any time away from me. So how do I clear my vision and know where I stand? How can I know where to improve?

It's tough--and not a new problem. I've been reading through the Gospels (just finished the fourth one last week), so I've seen over and again all those occasions where Jesus has to call somebody out. Ever stop and really think about the Pharisees? Wonder why they couldn't just see what He was trying to tell them?

I've got to think it might have something to do with this same phenomena. They'd been doing things the same way forever. Had things in the same places. And even if those places were wrong, they were too involved, too much inside it to notice. It took Someone new coming along to point it out.

We can't get distance from ourselves, no--but we can find some quiet. Some distance from the rest of the world that might be influencing or overwhelming us. We can have some communion with our Lord and say, "Show me, Father. Show me where I am and what I need."

I can see, right now, what I need in terms of work, in terms of housekeeping (a maid would be nice, LOL)--but as for me? Well, there are the obvious places where I have, ahem, room for improvement. But my prayer today is that Lord shows us each what we really need. That He shows us where we're strong and where we're weak. That He whispers His truth in our ear and gives us the ears to hear it. And that doesn't just mean pointing out where we need to change--sometimes it also means having our eyes opened to where we're really doing well.

See, blinders don't just keep us from seeing the truth of what's bad. Sometimes they can keep us from seeing what we're doing right too.

Where are yours today?


  1. Excellent post!! Sometimes we do need to break from a project and cone back later. Maybe I will have more energy and enthusiasm then. :(

    That is the way things are around our house. They leave messes for me to clean up. In the kitchen, family room, schoolroom/dining room, and anywhere else they can find a place to pile things!! Of course they do not clean it up...Cinderella, Cinderella. Although, all things considered, the whole Cinderella thought is not so bad. I clean up the house and work hard for a few more years, attend a ball, an marry a handsome prince!! Maybe I like this plan....

  2. SUper post - and I had NEVER thought about blinders stopping us from seeing the good stuff - but you're so right!

    I just finished reading Black Beauty to my son, so blinders were fresh in my mind. Thanks for the new perspective :)

  3. Thanks for that interesting post! It's very true...I think I need some more quiet time myself. ;)