Tunnel Vision

tun·nel vi·sion (noun)

Defective sight in which objects cannot be properly seen if not close to the center of the field of view.

Synonyms: narrow focus, concentration, fixation, narrow-mindedness, single-mindedness, close-mindedness

Informal: the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited goal or point of view.

I have a running laundry list in my head and that list is broken into multiple sub-lists. There is one for family, one for friends, one for church and one for work. The one for family has all these smaller lists sprouting off from it with one for each person, as does the one for work. The lists go on and on.

Sometimes I get so focused on the items on the lists that I can neglect the people behind them. Over the years I have found that me getting really focused on the “lists” parallels when I’m feeling really disconnected from God and when I’m disconnected from God all of my relationships suffer.

I don’t want to go through life with tunnel vision; I want to be present in each moment with my family, friends, co-workers and most importantly with God. I want to be present in my conversations, present during story time, present during our meal-time conversations and I want to just enjoy HIS presence.
One of the most significant gifts we can give is that of our time; however, that time is worth nothing if we are not present in it. I don’t believe God intended for my relationship with Him or others to be beleaguered by my to do lists. These lists are not a justification for neglect of those relationships most important to me. Neither my husband nor my kids are impressed by how many items I’ve crossed off my list or by how clean my inbox is. And, I am certain God is not impressed by this either.

When my life has become more routine than living, when I feel like the lists of things I “must do” are constantly increasing or that I am mindlessly moving from one item to the next, I find that I just have to stop and whisper a little prayer for help. It is in these quiet moments that I know God hears me and I feel myself moving closer to Him. It is in these moments I acknowledge how weak and emotionally messy I am. And, it is in these moments I acknowledge just how inept I am at handling the amazing relationships He has entrusted me with and ask Him to help me with my priorities. It’s no surprise that when I “let” God be in control and set the priorities in my life I no longer struggle with tunnel vision.