2020 – the year of sight

I do realise that today’s date is 16 February 2024 and I have not made a mistake in the title.

I was talking to someone recently who reflected that 2020 (perfect vision) was to be the year of sight and that perhaps we were only entering that this year. My response is 2020 was indeed the year of sight – maybe there is grace to re-enter the grace of sight this year.

Jesus spoke about ears and eyes:

The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand’… But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

So we can have eyes (and ears) and yet not see (nor hear). Sight is a strange thing, what we see depends on what we are looking at, and two people can even look at the same thing and see something very different. Take those who are asking the hard questions that will take them to a deeper place of faith; they might be nervous and unsure about their journey but they are pursuing a future that they see can take them beyond where they are; to others who are observing the journey they see someone who is on a journey to ‘lose their faith’.

When reflecting back on 2020 and the severity of the lockdown, the controversy over vaccines, and the devastation brought about through COVID seldom has there been something that has affected life globally at that level. Surely it was there to be SEEN. But did we have eyes to see what was ‘blidingly obvious’ or did we see it as an incovenience and we had to get back to normal asap.

Gayle and I have just returned from an extended time in the UK, beyond what we anticipated. We arrived home on Tuesday after 2 days of driving. As we drove home we passed numerous vehicles on a 15 kilometer stretch all with the sign on them ‘Overcoming Obstacles’. Then we hit the farmer’s strike with tractors blocking the main highway. Detour through single track roads and dirt tracks and meeting trucks coming the other way. Not the fastest drive and highly inconvenient. Can you read the signs?

We get home Tuesday and Gayle has to get a visa for China, leaving next Friday, a week today. Visa? That took a day to fill in the forms, get all the documents ready followed by a 7:00am train and a journey to Madrid (round trip of some 8 hours today) and the Chinese embassy, to discover that the letter of invite was in English and not acceptable. Chinese office is 8 hours ahead, those who can send the invite in Chinese are out of the office… Overcoming obstacles. Just a few minutes ago all submitted successfully, for a return trip to be made next Tuesday – another 8 hours – overcoming obstacles. Two words: obstacles which we all hate!! and overcoming – a good promise there if we have ears to hear and eyes to see.

So I consider 2020 was the year of global sight, and sight that will frame the following 20 years.

Maybe we are in a year where we can see what was there to be seen in 2020… It is certainly going to be a pivotal year, and seemingly a year when obstacles will be many, and grace to overcome will be abundant, if we engage with the obstacles.

3 thoughts on “2020 – the year of sight

  1. I think of this as the age of inconvenience. That works only for us who are well off and have some sense of entitlement, like we should not have to be inconvenienced. We should not have to deal with obstacles. For the rest of the world and vast billions of folks, it is moving from inconvenience to catastrophe.

    I am fascinated by how so many of us have no tolerance for jumping through hoops when trying to get things done. I include myself in that.

  2. I once heard a famous race car driver giving driving advice about accidents: (paraphrase)

    “Don’t look at the accident, look at where you want your car to be, you will end up IN the accident if you are looking at it…look THROUGH the accident…”

    Obstacles…accidents…lots of stuff to look at from 2020…I think in many ways we are still navigating some of those “accidents”…

    One of my favorite songs is from a band called Cloud Cult…”There’s so much energy in us”…

    The song deals with a crew looking for something and failing in the mission:

    The mission’s over now, and my breath is running out.
    Can’t let go of it, can’t let go of it.
    I didn’t mean what I said, I didn’t mean what I said.
    I love you more than this. I love you more than this.
    Then lights they fill the air, or were they always there?
    I finally see it. I finally see it.
    And I heard the captain say, I heard the captain say,
    “You’re always close to it, so very close to it.”
    There’s so much energy in us.

    “I finally see it… and you’re always close to it…”

    I think we are much closer to the kingdom than we ever really see…

    And on another note the idea of overcoming obstacles is definitely something that suggests we have so much energy in us…

    What if the Kingdom of God is within reach right this very moment?

  3. Interesting thank you Martin. I see roadblocks everywhere at the moment. It seems like two steps forward and three back to me! In fact for me since 2020 everything changed and I have not come back from there yet! There seem to be huge obstacles to overcome both personally and also on the national and international front with horrific violence and bloodshed going on. I don’t know that I can ‘see’ the way out. I can see the divisions of the culture wars which make it all so much worse. The ‘woke’ versus the ‘anti woke’ and the misuse and appropriation of so called Judeo-Christian values by non believers who say all the right things but have a form of understanding but not one inspired by faith. They demonise Islam and Muslims who could possibly become literally like Ishmael when there are voices like Douglas Murray who want to kick them out of the ‘camp’!! And yet even worse I see the Christian right in America especially making idols of politics and leaders and power making allegiances with spirits of empire and control! Dangerous games to play both. Everyone thinks they know what Jesus thinks of the world and think they know what he’s would say and do in a given situation. If we claim that we are in error and deceived as nobody can see the whole picture we all see in part?. One thing for sure is that his manifesto of the kingdom, laid out in the sermon on the mount is not palatable for most of us and challenges everything. It’s just such a difficult path yet that’s what we are supposed to follow. How we/I fail and yet… it’s not too late. I hope

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