I read a contact lens company’s brochure while I was waiting to pick up my new glasses. The brochure was to advertise their new corrective lenses for myopia but it was full of useful information. I learned a few things:
- The definition of myopia: Put simply, it is near-sightedness.
- The symptom: Distant objects appear blurry.
- The cause: Many near-work activities (e.g., using smartphones) seem to cause it.
- Concerns: It is “a growing problem and global concern,” and it is estimated that, by 2050, five billion people will be affected by it.
One of the suggested remedies is to spend more time outdoors, which can prevent or slow down myopia. Taking regular breaks from intensive screen time should help, too.
I think that, when Paul wrote the following in his letter to the Colossians, he meant to warn them–and us, of course–against “spiritual” myopia, so to speak:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col 3:1-4)
Spiritual near-sightedness fools us to believe that this present world is all that there is. It makes us set our minds on earthly things. It deprives us of an eternal perspective. It makes us bitter when we suffer and arrogant when we prosper. It moves our focus from the eternal yet invisible God to the temporal yet tangible world. Spiritual near-sightedness makes God and his eternal glory appear blurry and nebulous. Spiritual myopia is lethal.
(By the way, I need a new pair of reading glasses every 1.5-2 years. I think of Anthony C. Thiselton, a remarkable scholar who never stops reading and writing even with extremely poor eyesight. He inspires me)