A Philosopher

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees;[a] for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”


There was once a man known far and wide as a man with the best vision in the world. People spoke of the ‘man with the best vision in the world’ and all wanted to meet him. Huge venues became booked out as people pre-payed and ordered tickets moments after they became available. The man with the best vision had a secret, and everyone wanted in.

One celebrated philosopher, who had taught lecture series at numerous high-profile colleges and given several thesis works and written many books, decided he would like to meet ‘the man with the best vision’ in person. He called the man, expecting to speak with a secretary, and was surprised to hear the wheeze of an old man’s voice.

“How may I help you?”

“I wanted to set up a meeting with the man said to have the best vision in the world.”

A brief pause followed.

“When would you like to meet?”

The philosopher set up a time early the next week to meet the man so praised by so many. He expected the man to have some sort of secret meal, vitamin, or regimen to keeps his vision ”perfect”.

You can imagine his surprise when he met the owner of the wheezy voice. The man shuffled in, using a cane to steady his hands, and a stick which he tapped on the ground in front of him.

The old man was blind.

Naturally the philosopher concluded that he had been duped.

“Who are you? Where is the man with the best vision in the world?”

The old man swung his head up and his eyes seemed to stare at the philosopher.

“That would be me.”

“But you are clearly blind.”

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The old man paused and shifted his weight to one side, picking up an object from a table. He handed it to the philosopher. It was a small hand mirror that the philosopher had not even noticed. The old man asked him, “What do you see?”. The professor studied his own face in the mirror, and said slowly, “I see a man, in his forties, he has done well for himself. He has made something of himself, he has become known and people will recognize him.”

The old man sighed and shook his head. “Do you know why I am called the man with the best vision?” He asked of no one in particular. The old man directed his sightless eyes towards the professor. “It is because I see what you cannot. You see only the outward appearance. You see accomplishments in this world.”

The philosopher’s expression darkened and he said angrily, “Well what do you see?”

Turning around and shuffling towards the door, the old man said over his shoulder, “I am a man who is physically blind. But I am the only one who can decide how blind I will be.”


 

It seems odd to me how little we think about sight. Is sight simply what we see? Or is it something we decide to see? Ultimately, we are the ones who decide if we will accept God’s call or not. We can either see creation as something random, or we can choose to see God through His creation. 

To make this a little clearer, think about this analogy. When you use a bluetooth speaker, you first must connect it to a phone or other device. When we notice noise we turn toward it. Automatically, you hear the sound from the speaker and would proceed to praise the speaker for its ability. However, the speaker was not the creator of the sound. Although it may not even be seen, the phone releases the signal, it creates the signal that then allows the speaker to bring out beautiful melodies.

We on earth see nature, the ‘bluetooth speaker’. Created by something greater, displaying incredible grace and verisimilitude. We praise nature. Yet we forget the creator of nature. We are praising the noise, and ignoring the signal which created the noise. We have forgotten the foundation upon which everything else rests. Remember, He who created sight sees all.

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He who created knowledge knows all. He who created power has control over all. The only difference is we decide what we will see. 

Although the philosopher in the story would seem to be more successful, he could not see all the old man saw. No matter what he did, he could only see what was on the outside.

Achievement, fame, money, success, appearance. We can see worldly things. However, the old man, “the man with the best vision”, was blind. Yet the old man saw more than the philosopher.

How many times do we just choose not to see something? I know I have done this. Sometimes even ignoring or convincing myself that something is not from God because I knew that God wanted me to do something I did not want to do. It is dangerous.

God created everything, he created the noise. We must be careful not to turn to the noise, but to see the signal leading to the Creator.

Be blessed today.

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