In Sight Of a New Year
Mike Heisler

The Vineyard has been blessed by a new column this year. Mike’s Memo is a devotional produced by Vineyard Leader, Mike Heisler. Like, share, and make sure you check back for new editions of Mike’s Memo!

2020, I can’t help but think of eye charts. 20/20 is “perfect” vision. I quote perfect because really it’s just normal visual acuity, the clarity or sharpness of what you see. 20/20 vision means you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at 20 feet. Maybe 20/10 is perfect if you’re a baseball player (you can see clearly at 20 feet what others must be closer to see). I remember telling my daughter “Look for yourself.” when she asked me “What time is it?” for a third time. Her response, “I can’t see the clock.” Turns out she had 20/300 vision! Time for some correction.

So what do we see as 2020 is upon us. Are we seeing clearly into the new year? Are we far-sighted? Able to see clearly at a distance but close up is fuzzy. Or maybe we are near-sighted, only seeing clearly what’s right in front of us. Life has a way of forcing us to be near-sighted. We focus on getting done the short term tasks, the papers due next week, the bills that need paid, the appointments to keep and the car that needs fixed.

Visually, I’m far-sighted. I don’t need my glasses to drive, but then I can’t read the dashboard! I can put my glasses on so I can tell what buttons do on the dash but then I can’t read the street signs.

I tend to live near-sighted. I find myself doing all the urgent stuff which means I sometimes neglect the important things. Sometimes that’s necessary, the urgent really is urgent and it just needs to have our attention. More often than not, I’m treating something as urgent as a way to avoid the important. The “urgent” is doable, the important is hard. The urgent screams at you. The important whispers.

Having just reached 65 I look around and see an awful lot of important things that never happened because I kept busy with the urgent. At least what I saw as urgent. Were my glasses on or off? With the glasses on I saw the todos in front of me and sometimes missed the important signs, and potholes, along the road.

I want to encourage you, to take a look back on this year. They say hind-sight is 20/20, actually it’s probably more like 20/10. How are you living? Did you make time for the important things last year? What’s your life look like for this year? More of the same? Probably.

Take a day and try on some different glasses. Look up close and far ahead. Consider what’s urgent and what’s important for the next 6 months to a year. If necessary schedule time with God, family and friends so you don’t lose sight of them in the distance. How you live is more important than what you do.

Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now when all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

P.S. One other thing I’ve learned at my age. Planning more than 3 years out will always be subject to change. Don’t get hung up on your long term plans.