Let’s just say that I am developing a whole new appreciation for the things my forebears faced before me. And I see now, that in this regard, as the prophet once affirmed, “I am no better than my ancestors.”
But long before I ever faced any of this, back in my forties, I notices a slight decline in my hearing and seeing. The hearing issues no doubt relate to my farming background and the daily proximity to loud machinery I experienced as a child. I have largely learned to live with this. But, nowadays, just to be sure I don't exacerbate the situation, I always wear protective gear when out mowing, etc…
With regard to my eyesight, I first noticed the inability to focus while deer-hunting. At the time, I had no problem seeing off in the distance. But whenever I would glance down at my watch, things would be slightly blurry. The eye doctor gave me a thorough examination, and as a result, told me that my eyes were fine, but that my arms were too short!
Seriously, he said my problem was a universal one in that the more we age, the longer it takes the muscles of our eyes to refocus when shifting from looking off in the distance to looking at something up close. He gave me a prescription for “reading glasses”, which largely solved my problem. Ever since that day, I have worn glasses in order to see things close by.
Now a good pair of glasses is like a good spouse. You become married to them, as it were. So much so that they almost become an extension of who you are, and you literally find yourself lost without them! That is why I long ago swallowed my pride and bought a small chain to attach to my glasses. I keep them around my neck most all the time.
I have also learned that I should not take them for granted, less they fall into disrepair. In short, they need regular attention to keep them in good working order. All of this leads me to the point of my post today…
On more than one occasion as of late, when looking down, my glasses slipped off and fell down. Had it not been for the chain, they would have fallen to the ground. Naturally, on each occasion, I tried bending my glasses inward so as to make them tighter on my head. I assumed each time that I had fixed the problem; but I soon discovered that little had changed. The process only repeated itself with alarming frequency.
For this reason, the next time I found myself near the store where I had purchased my glasses, I stopped in, explained my problem, and asked if they could be repaired. The lady was very helpful. She took my glasses and stepped to her work bench. I noticed that she bent the glasses exactly as I had done with one tiny exception. Just before she made each bend, she briefly placed that portion of my glasses beneath some small contraption.
When she returned them to me, my glasses were noticeably tighter. They were also straighter on my face. In fact, they seemed to be back where they had been when I had first acquired them. They fit perfectly once again.
Needless to say, I was Impressed. But I was also puzzled as to why she was able to bend them back to where they belonged and to make them stay. So I inquired as to how she had managed this. Clearly, whatever gadget she had held them near or under had affected the change. She soon affirmed my suspicions, telling me that the device was a small but powerful heater.
It seems my glasses are made of something called memory metal. As such, they are designed to flex and bend, yet return to their intended shape afterward. Over time, however, they can still get a little stretched out of shape, and become loose-fitting as a result. When they do, no amount of bending them back into shape, however well-intentioned it may be, will fix the problem.
To truly correct the problem, the metal must be heated before it is bent. When this happens the bending of the metal takes, and the result is a new shape for to which the memory metal will then adhere.
Who knew?! The best way to affect change is to just to apply a little heat! Without it, little change can be expected; but with it, change – true change, change that is genuine and lasting – can be achieved.
I walked away from this episode reflecting on how this simple principle may well have meaning, not only for eyeglass repair, but for others things in life as well. After all, all it really took to correct my repeated misbehaviors as a child was a little heat applied by my parents to the appropriate spot!
Likewise, in school, about all it took to correct my bad study habits was the heat of a bad report card. And as a teenager, on more than one occasion, my bad driving behavior was quickly brought into check by feeling the heat of a ticket and all that involved.
In fact, as I look back overly life, I find that I have repeatedly felt the heat, as it were, from undergoing the process of correction. In my health, in my thinking, in my personal life, in my professional life, and in most every other way I can think of, having felt a little heat from time to time has been actually been in my best interest.
Of course, this has also been true in my spiritual life as well. Sure, as the old saying goes, playing with fire can get one burnt! And once burnt, twice shy! But thank God for the fact that He has always been willing to apply the heat, so to speak. At just the right time, in just the right amount, and for just the right reason, God in His wisdom knows how to turn on the heat we need to feel!
In Revelation 3:19, our Lord tells us: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.” This basic truth is repeatedly affirmed throughout all of Scripture.
In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 8:5 states: “So know in your heart that just as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” Later, in Proverbs 3:12, we read: “For the LORD disciplines the one He loves, as does a father the son in whom he delights.”
In the New Testament, in Hebrews 12:6, we find a similar reminder: “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves; and He chastises every son He receives." And in 1 Corinthians 11:32, we are given insight into why this happens: “But when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.” Thus, it is ultimately for our own good that we find ourselves occasionally feeling some form of Heavenly heat!
What about you, my friend? Are you at a time and place in your life when, as Glen Frey once put it, “The heat is on!”? Then rejoice and be glad! For just like with my glasses, you maker has provided you with wonderful memory. And right now, here is what He wants you to remember. The mere fact that God is applying the heat right now only means that no matter how far out of line you may have gotten, He still loves you, and ultimately wants what is in your best interest!
https://www.biblehub.com/revelation/3-19.htm. Note: The related scripture verses cited above can be found in the adjacent right hand column.