I used to think childhood was the most adventurous season of life until I hit middle age. Boy, was I wrong. Once your forties roll around, it’s all fun and games.
For instance, every morning when I work out, I play a game called, “What Will Hurt Next?” Will I strain a deltoid? Pull a hamstring? Blow out my knee? Who knows! That’s all part of the fun. At the very least, every time I exercise, it seems like something new is sore by the end.
Another fun middle-aged game I like to play is “Why Did I Walk Into This Room?” Here’s how it works. I walk into a room in my house clearly on a mission, but when I get there, I can’t remember the objective of the mission. Was I looking for something? Did I have something I was supposed to do? I have absolutely no idea, which is what makes the game so challenging.
A more active version of this game is called “Where Did I Park at Walmart?” I love to go into Walmart lost in thought and by the time I come out, have zero recollection of where I left my car. That’s when the game begins! The best is when I spend ten minutes looking for my old Honda Accord and eventually realize I drove our minivan. Just more fun!
Of all these games, however, none is more entertaining than “What Does That Say?” All you need to play is something with tiny print like a medicine bottle, an ingredient label or pretty much any book I own. It’s doesn’t matter what. It’s all fuzzy up close to me. Sometimes it helps to hold things at a distance, but now I’m to the point where I need a selfie stick to get the text far enough way to read it.
Another solution is to just hand it to one of my kids and make them read it to me. C’mon, I spent hours reading to them when they were little. Is it so much to ask them to return the favor?
To help me play the “What Does That Say?” game I only put two things on my Christmas list this year: a giant print Bible and a book light. I got tired of reading everything on a Kindle or phone. I wanted real paper and ink in my hands and these two tools get the job done.
The book light is amazing. It has an LED light on each end of a flexible rod that I can sling around my neck. It’s like I’m walking around the house with headlights on, which is great until I run into a family member and blind them like I’m like spotlighting deer.
While my book light may not be popular with everyone else in my house, I love it. It keeps me from tripping over things in the dark and allows me to see things up close that I could never see on my own.
My Bible serves the same function. Yes, the giant print helps me to actually read it, but long before I needed bigger text, the Bible has been keeping me from tripping myself up and helping to see things in my life I could never see without it.
I’m not the only one who’s had that experience. In fact, a long time ago a guy even wrote a song about it. He said, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105 NIV). It’s not a spotlight shining down the road, but intimate, personal illumination that shows me the next step.
Just like a book light clarifies what’s right in front of us, God can use the Bible to show us things in our own lives that we might otherwise miss. For example, Colossians 3:19 and Ephesians 6:4 showed me sometimes I can be a jerk to my family and that I need to be careful with my attitude and tone of voice with the people I love most. Psalm 23:1 showed me that I stress too much and don’t always trust God to take care of me. Proverbs 29:25 showed me some days I care more about what people think of me than what God thinks of me, and it makes me miserable. And on and on and on I could go.
I could give you dozens of examples of blind spots in my life that were illuminated by Scripture and helped me to change for the better or reminded me when I was discouraged that things weren’t nearly as bad as they looked.
You don’t have to be middle-aged to struggle seeing things up close. I’ve been doing it all my life. It’s often the junk in our own hearts and the overlooked blessings we take for granted that we have the hardest time recognizing for ourselves. That’s why we all need a light that’s bright enough to bring our lives into focus. My book light is pretty cool, but it’s nothing compared to my giant print Bible that gives me God’s perspective where I need it the most. •
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