Friday, July 8, 2011

Seeing It Again For the First Time

I was making a turn at an intersection today when I noticed, for the first time, that if I look between two buildings across the street, that I can see the Rocky Mountains in the distance.

I’ve made this turn a gazillion times.

I’ve seen those buildings a gazillion times.

Therefore, I have to have seen the Rocky Mountains between them a gazillion times.

But today is the first time I was aware of them.

A minor event that was occurring across the street as I was making the turn caused me to see them

As I completed my turn and drove on, I got to thinking about how often this happens in life.

Perhaps a similar situation exists in:

…. a relationship that is at an impasse because no one can see a way to heal it.

…. a business challenge that seems impossible to solve because it appears to be too complex.

…. a personal obstacle that one strains to overcome but stress levels or mental baggage prevent an objective evaluation of it.

…. an unexpected event that comes out of nowhere but threatens to delay a personal or professional project in play.

…. a global issue that threatens everyone but contains no obvious solution as people put posturing before solutions since posturing seems like the only way out.

Many times, the answer to the challenge that threatens to undermine the parties involved is right in front of them, literally staring back at them.

However, they have spent so long staring at the answer that they don’t actually see it.

Maybe, sometimes, we need to allow an external influence to help us to really SEE.

The external influence may be a seemingly random, insignificant event that distracts us for the brief moment that allows us to see things differently.

Perhaps it is something as simple as intentionally looking at something else for a short while (not recommended while driving).

Perhaps the external influence may be a fresh set of eyes who haven’t grown weary staring at the same thing that appears to have numbed our ability to see the obvious.

Perhaps …

Here’s an interesting experiment to try.

If you have a phone book (printed, electronic, whatever) look for your name or the name of someone you know who will be in the phonebook.

Scan down through the list until you find the person you are looking for and then scan across and look at their phone number.

Now …. close the book.

And with the book closed, identify the name of the person that appeared two names before the person you were looking for.

Most people cannot.   You saw the name, you processed it for the moment and then you discarded it from your memory as no longer being essential, having served its purpose.

Some things are like that – essential for the moment but not important from the standpoint of being analyzed and remembered.

However, many things are important and yet we still don’t see them or make cognitive note of them.

When an external event, an objective observer or other influence causes you to “stop and see”, make a note of what you are experiencing.  The message contained in what you see may be more important than you realize.

When I sit in quiet contemplation, seeking guidance to challenges and obstacles in front of me, I don’t pray for quick solutions or easy bailouts.

I quietly ask for guidance to help me to see.

What are you observing today?

More importantly, what do you SEE?

In service and servanthood,


PS.  Maybe when we stop to “see”, we might also discover the beauty that exists in what we previously perceived as “the mundane”. :-)

My Musings-in-a-Minute version of “Seeing It Again For the First Time” is the same as this one and can be found here.

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