Peripheral vision – where blessing often hides

By Dave Henning / February 20, 2020

“Peripheral vision is seeing what lies at the edges, which means those who are most marginalized.  Anatomically, our range of vision is approximately 150 degrees, while our horizontal field of vision is 210 degrees.  Anything outside those parameters is invisible to us, and that’s often where the blessing is hiding.”- Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 15 of Double Blessing as he talks about one really good decision Henry VIII made.  On April 8, 1541, he authorized Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, to establish the college of Six Preachers.  During services, the six preachers sat in assigned stalls.  Mark calls them medieval box seats.  In addition, they often dined with Cranmer, debriefing sermons.  However, what’s most remarkable is that there’s been an unbroken succession of six preachers from 1544 to the present.

In contrast, in our culture we tend to think of self-made men and women as heroes.  But, Pastor Batterson notes, where you find success there’s succession.  Hence, we owe who we are to a long list of people.  And we know very few of them.  Therefore, we need to catalog our blessings.  Because if we fail to take inventory, we can’t restock the blessing by flipping it.

Furthermore, part of flipping the blessing involves obeying those hiding in our peripheral vision.  Thus, Mark defines peripheral vision as:

  • noticing what others ignore
  • reading a room and reading between the lines
  • spotting potential where others see problems
  • finding opportunity where others see inconvenience

Finally, Mark exhorts us, like the Good Samaritan, to notice need out of the corner of our eye:

“God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time — of that I’m sure.  He is ordering our footsteps and preparing good works in advance.  And that means the person next to you isn’t there by accident.  May God give us the peripheral vision to spot divine appointments that are around us all the time.”

Today’s question: What needs do you notice out of the corner of your eye?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Optimists live openhanded and openhearted”

About the author

Dave Henning

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