"Lelobu" is the Bantu Setswana Language term for the chameleon. The lelobu is noted for several things. First, it is very slow moving. It takes its time as it moves among the trees and branches, often rocking back and forth in near prefect mimicry of a limb gently blowing back and forth in the wind.
Second, as most everyone already knows, it has the ability to modify its color so as to blend more effectively into its background. It is obvious that each of these characteristics help the animal to survive as it first evades predators and then as it hunts for its own sustenance.
But the Lelobu has one other characteristic for which it is chiefly noted by the local Motswanan people of Botswana. It has the unique ability to move each of its eyes individually. Each eye, located on the side of its head, can pivot and look toward the back the side, or the front, independently of the other eye. Thus, this animal is noted and respected for its ability both to look forward and to look backward at the same time.
As we reach the middle of January, we are now 1/24th of the way into the new year. By comparison, if the entirety of the year 2016 were compressed into a single day, we would already be at 1am on the clock. (Wow! Where does time go?)
In any event, no doubt many of us took the opportunity a scant two weeks ago to look backward and forward at the same time. And in the process, a good many of us made resolutions about changes for the better that we might like to see in our lives.
Since then, we have crept forward slowly but imperceptibly into the new year. Now, two weeks in, perhaps we should each pause and again take a look ahead and behind. As we do, the likely questions will be: “What have we done to make progress toward my resolution(s)? What have I not done? What should I now do?”
We have all seen the past. And we should always keep one eye on it. For its represents our heritage. It tells us where we have come from. But we should never go forward with both eyes behind us. That is sheer folly. Rather, it behooves us always to keep one eye on the future as well. If not, how can we possibly hope to know where we are going?
And along the way, it is wise to roll one’s eyes around to see what is actually happening all around us. For this might well also influence where we need to look for the future.
Little wonder then, that the Psalmist prayed that Lord might open his eyes in order that he might see (Psalm 119:18 NIV). Or that the Apostle Paul admonished the Corinthian Christians to “keep their eyes open” (I Corinthians 16:13 MSG). For such advice is worthy to be heeded, both in the physical world and also in the spiritual one.