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There must be a trick: how do I look at something intently that I cannot see? It must be the reverse then. In other words, it’s not so much that I am to fix my eyes on the unseen as much as I am NOT to fix my eyes on the seen. It’s a little like the old mantra, “it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie.”

II Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

This is not an easy task. The “seen” is all around me. Everyday life is constantly presenting itself to me in one form or another Circumstances are doing their best to surround me.

Tasks, responsibilities, jobs, lists, chores, and duties assail me every day. And what about the people: children, significant others, parents, grandparents, extended family, neighbors, co-workers, supervisors, subordinates, church friends, non-church friends, enemies, club friends, organization friends, acquaintances, and strangers. They all require my attention. They are all part of my “seen” world. Oh, and what about the state of world: the wars, the tragedies, the killings, the weather, corporate crime, drug lords, benevolent dictators, not so benevolent dictators, congress, criminals, statesmen, presidents and their wives and their children, and on and on and on. Should I mention the inanimate objects? I don’t think I can bear it.

And yet, the message is clear: these things are temporary. Jobs will change, people will die, governments will collapse, technology will fail. Like the seed that must die to bear a fruit, all of these things will die to produce the next generation . . . whether it’s people, ideas, or gizmos.

My eyes need to look elsewhere. My “eyes” need to look within. More often than not, this actually requires me to close my eyes. This is why we usually pray for eyes closed, to block out the “seen” and to give ourselves a chance to glimpse the unseen. I must choose.

The seen world is the one that causes anxiety and fear. The unseen world of the Holy Spirit is a world of peace and order and love. Forgiveness happens in the unseen world. Freedom too.

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