Escaping tunnel vision

It was one of those marvelous spring mornings – blue skies, sunshine, cool breezes. The invitation to escape outdoors became irresistible, and I found myself wandering through an old apple orchard not far from home. Although the trees were weathered and gnarled, their branches that day were covered with delicate blossoms, a gentle aroma wafting through the air.

It was there in the orchard that I spotted it – a meandering ridge of grass, sure evidence of a mole’s network of tunnels. In fact, the little creature was hard at work, just under the surface, prodding a slowly-advancing hump of grass.

Abruptly, and perhaps rather atypically, the grass parted and a small, dusty head popped into view. The little creature looked around, blinked, and then vanished back into its tunnel – as suddenly as it had emerged.

I stood there, looking at that small, ragged hole in the grass. You poor little mole. There you are – creeping through dark tunnels, bumping into rocks and roots – when here, just above you, a wonderful world awaits you. A world of sunshine and breezes, of color and fragrance, of new perspectives and opportunities.

Pan to the present. It’s altogether too easy to wander through the familiar corridors of our lives. Doing what we’ve always done. Experiencing again what we’ve already tried. Confined to our comfort zones. Trapped by the routine.

Sometime, though, we must break out of our drab tunnels. We must push away from the familiar. We must explore new terrain, glimpse new horizons. We must extend the envelope of our lives. Through the prophet Isaiah, God urges us, “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes” (Isaiah 54:2 NIV).

What does this imply? It may mean that you venture beyond the circle of your established friends and connect with someone new, perhaps from a different race, culture, or socioeconomic background. It may mean that you take a few months, or perhaps a year, to serve someplace where there is a special need. If you are studying, it may imply that you take a course or two that’s not required, outside of your major field of study. If you are a professional, it may suggest that you add a new dimension to your career. Whatever your circumstance, it may mean that you experience God in a way you’ve never done before.

To escape tunnel vision – tunnel thinking, tunnel living – is liberating. It opens up new directions, new opportunities, new avenues for service and fulfillment. It’s a part of God’s plan for your life: “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children.” (E.G. White, Education, p. 18). Ultimately, it’s your response to His invitation, who has called you out of the darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

— John Wesley Taylor V