Several months ago, I had two cataracts removed from my eyes. How they got there, I don't know. As far as I can remember, they never asked my permission, and furthermore, they never paid rent for being there.
According to the eye doctor, and doctors are never wrong, I now have 2020 vision. I've never had such vision since I was ten years old.
All I really need now are reading glasses, and my vision is quite good.
That sounds like a good thing on the surface, but every good thing has a little dark corner somewhere hidden.
The good part is that I can see excellently.
The bad part is that I can see excellently.
I didn’t quite understand this until just recently it came to full view.
Usually, when I go to the bathroom in the morning to prepare for the day, I don't wear my glasses. Before my cataract surgery, everything was blurry, and I was just accustomed to that. Isn't it funny how you get accustomed to some things and then don't notice them?
Now my vision is so good that when I go into the bathroom in the morning to get ready for the day, I have perfect vision in the mirror.
If that isn't scary, then you haven't looked in my mirror on any given morning. If I didn’t know better, I would think it was Frankenstein's grandson.
What shocked me so much was that as I looked at my face to prepare to shave, I noticed some things I never noticed before. Those things were "wrinkles."
I've noticed these things in other people, such as the one who lives in the same house with me. But I've never noticed it on me. But there they were. There they were in all their disgusting glory.
Not only did I have one wrinkle, but for some reason, that wrinkle brought all his family with him. And, to make matters worse, the first wrinkle never asked permission to take up residence on my face.
But there they were, and I was staring at them for the very first time.
I do not know the real purpose of wrinkles or where in the world they come from or where I can send them.
I do have a relative, which shall remain anonymous, that deals with wrinkles all the time. She has had so much plastic surgery that it’s hard to recognize who she really is. She reminds me of Joan Rivers.
I've always played jokes on her. When I saw her, I would look at her face and say, "Is that a new wrinkle on your face?"
I would laugh, and she would laugh, but her laugh wasn't as genuine as my laugh. In a few moments, she would disappear, and I never knew where she went except I suspicioned she was looking at the new wrinkle in the bathroom mirror.
The next time I saw her, that wrinkle had disappeared.
Have you ever noticed that things always come back on you when you try to pull them on somebody else? I did think about calling her and asking her opinion of what I should do about my wrinkles. I knew if I did, she could not stop laughing, so I'm not going to go in that direction.
But what are wrinkles really for? What is the purpose of a wrinkle? And, where did they come from? And, do I need to wear a mask?
Because of my confusion in this area, I thought I would take the chance of asking the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage about my wrinkles.
Cautiously I approached her and said, "I discovered I have some wrinkles on my face, and I don't know where they came from? Do you know what I could do?"
Obviously, she thought I was joking because I couldn't get her to stop laughing.
When she finally calmed down, she said, "You've had wrinkles for as long as I can remember." Then she began laughing again.
When she quieted down again, she said, "The purpose of wrinkles is to keep track of your age. Every wrinkle represents a certain age in your life." Then she broke down in laughter again. Obviously, this is funny to her.
The next time I was in front of the mirror, I carefully looked at my wrinkles and tried to count them. If what she says is true, I must be 397 years old.
I exited the bathroom with a very sour grimace on my face, and when my wife looked at me, once again, she broke down into hilarious laughter. I'm glad she thinks it's funny!
I'm not sure what to do with my wrinkles, but I'm not going to have plastic surgery.
I need to accept things as they are and not allow something as silly as a wrinkle define who I am. If I do that, I will never come to any kind of reality about myself. I surely am not my wrinkle.
Thinking about this, I was reminded of a verse in the Bible. “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face” (Psalm 5:8).
My face has more important things to do than fuss over wrinkles. I need to trust the Lord each day to set before my face the way that he wants me to go for his glory.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]