Living Blind… Good morning Hump Day Readers. As we tumble into November, one thing hit me the other day when I was watching a sports event about past Olympics, something I really enjoy.
What caught my attention was the 1988 Winter Olympics downhill skiers, who, prior to going to Calgary for the games, were doing something most of us would not have tried if we were blind. The pros were paired with blind skiers to teach them to downhill ski! As I watched them and then several others TV clips of “Paralympic athletes” it not only warmed my heart but watching them also had me sitting on the edge of the couch! What bravery indeed.
Think about it: flying down a mountain without no sight seems about as crazy as anything out there, yet here they were alongside professional downhill skiers and they were doing amazingly well. Why? TRUST, it was only trust because without trusting their paired pro-skier, they would be in dire straits.
One of the blind skiers is Danelle Umstead. She can’t see when she skis down the mountain. Instead the US Paralympic alpine ski racer depends on her husband and guide Rob Umstead to get her down safely. “It’s scary all the time going down the hill and not being able to see,” Danelle said. “We ski up to 70 miles per hour so I’m 100 percent relying on my husband.” A commentator asked Rob how he does this, and his short sentence was: “listen to two words that will make all the difference, ‘left’ and ‘right’.” I got that right away because the first thing you learn in trying to downhill ski is to be able to traverse left and right. I remember one time when I just forgot that and did a bonsai straight down the hill-ouch!
And this brings me to what? Our blindness, and I’m not talking about true loss of sight, but the loss we have when this world blinds us with all kinds of ways in how we are to live our lives, but none of those ways is what God wants for us! In Psalm 119:105 [KJV], King David penned one of the most powerful sentences which is often sung today as well:
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path.”
OK, if you’re like me now you are singing that song that Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith wrote in 1990 and it is still popular. Listen to the lyrics, which were based on the Psalm: Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path; When I feel afraid and think I’ve lost my way still you’re there right beside me. And nothing will I fear as long as you are near, so please be near me to the end…I will not forget Your love for me and yet my heart forever is wandering. Jesus be my guide and hold me to your side and I will love you to the end, oh, Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Like the blind skiers, we are all left with the choice of either complete trust or go it alone on our own ideas which can end in utter catastrophe. Isn’t this a picture of living our Christian life? When we allow the world to blind us, we start relying on ourselves instead of God’s Word, we get lost because we’ve left our Guide behind.
I think we all want to successfully navigate the course of life God has given us. How many of us have learned the hard way when we take things into our own hands? The world is always going to be out there blind-siding-us. But if we keep our trust in God—the perfect Guide who knows every obstacle that will come into our lives, the twists and turns of our lives will not be so scary.
In closing, if we were all to make an honest assessment on how much we rely on God’s Word, where would we land? 10%, 30%, 50%–or?? Blindness is never easy for those who truly have no sight, but worse yet is the blindness we so easily adopt from the world instead of God’s ‘lamp for our feet and light for our path’. AMEN.