I’m sitting in one of the two chairs in the living room where I do most of my work. Both offer good opportunities for staring out the window when I need to write something but have no idea what to write. Often, during the course of a session writing a sermon, blog post, Bible Study or anything for that matter, I will begin in one chair. When the writing is going well, I will stay in the chair. If it isn’t going well, I will switch chairs–maybe the different view will inspire something.
While the views from the chairs are different, the both have some things in common. From both of them, I see trees. I also see a portion of the street in front of the house and a bit of the marsh that fills up when the tide comes in. And both provide me with an opportunity to watch the deer and squirrels that are frequent visitors to our street.
And because I much prefer looking at trees and natural stuff, I tend not to notice another significant part of the view–the power line pole in the middle of our front lawn, with its four different wires on it and the five wires that come from it to our house. The top one coming to the house is the power line, a vital connection that I am happy about. I have lived and worked in places with no power or limited power so having regular, consistent electricity is something I enjoy.
One of the lines is a cable line, which is also vital to me anyway–not so much because of the TV content (although I do appreciate that) but mostly because the cable supplier is also our internet supplier and I, like many people, am somewhat addicted to being connected. One of the other wires is from the phone company but since we don’t have a landline, that wire is pretty much useless. The other two–well, I have absolutely no idea what they are for but since we don’t own the house, their presence doesn’t really bother me, except it means I have to be a bit more careful not to hit them during my infrequent sessions with my drone.
So, the question is why am I writing about the wires? It could be that the reason is that this is Monday morning and I need to have something done to post on the blog to satisfy my own self-imposed deadlines–and since I have already written about the tress outside the window, that leaves the wires.
Actually, although that may have been part of the reason, really seeing the wires this morning showed me a couple of interesting things. The first is the ability I have not to see the various lines and wires outside the window. While I like the products provided by the wires (electricity, internet, TV), I don’t particularly like looking at the wires. When I look out the window, I want to see the trees, the deer, the state of the tide, or whose car is driving by. And so I simply blank out the wires.
We all have a tendency to blank out what we don’t want to see. When I am ignoring the wires in favour of the trees, that is a normal and understandable process. But unfortunately, we human beings are able to do this in all kinds of situations, many of which are a problem. As a species, we are really good at ignoring a lot of what is right in front of us so that we don’t have to deal with it.
When I make one of my infrequent trips to the city, I am good at not seeing the panhandlers on the sidewalk–if I don’t see them, I don’t have to deal with them or the social issues that lead to panhandlers. When I watch the news on TV (via the second wire), I can ignore the videos of refugees and the starving and the corruption that produces so much of the first two. When I am working, I can ignore the signs that tell me someone needs more attention than the sermon that I think I should be working on.
If it was just me that has this selective vision, it would be a problem but not a major one. Unfortunately, we human being are way too good at not seeing the wires that we don’t want to see. But just because we don’t want to see the wires doesn’t mean they aren’t there and it definitely doesn’t mean we can ignore them.
May the peace of God be with you.