The tunnel-vision trap
Tunnel vision is almost never a good thing, and it can be an easy trap to fall into if we get wrapped up in the troubles of this world. Politics, in all nations, is a mess – but we fret and twist and turn and argue about them. Overall, humans haven’t taken great care of the environment, and we can get sole-focused worried about correcting our influence. We inflict pain on each other, on a scale that ranges from our nearby neighbors and that reaches other countries – and they do the same back to us. Watch any news broadcast, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in someone else’s tunnel-visioned issue being presenting at that moment.
Christians are also capable of falling into this tunnel-vision trap. We can get so wrapped up in church issues, community issues, and even just the day-to-day grind that we forget about the larger picture God is painting. God’s plan for humans started at Creation and stretches all the way into Eternity Future.
Thankfully, God left us reminders. During his letter to the believers in Rome, Paul discussed how our present identity in Christ relates to our Eternity Future:
The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children also heirs – heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
The troubles of this world and the suffering we all encounter – personal, health, and for being a Christian – can really bog us down. We can easily become tunnel-visioned on all that is wrong with the world and wonder if any of this “Christian stuff” is worth it. But when we keep this glory-filled future in mind, our perspective changes and we begin to see the world around us differently. If fact, Paul also tells us that the creation itself is also looking forward to the revealing of that glory in us:
For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility – not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it – in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.
When Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world, all of creation was frustrated, muted, and corrupted – and it hasn’t been fixed yet. At times in nature, we seem to get a glimpse of a deeper beauty, or the potential for something greater…but that notion is fleeting at best. However, when God brings humans back to the perfection we were created for, the creation will be liberated as well.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as firstfruits – we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
Both the creation and Christians are yearning for this future renewal. This longing for newness will be fulfilled. Until then, it is good to recognize our desire for our eternal home with Christ. It keeps today’s difficulties in perspective:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.