Sheptock, Rudy

Pastor Rudy Sheptock.

We have all heard the phrase, “making a mountain out of a mole hill.” Exaggeration is a common instrument in the land of the human nation.

We are not always the best judges of what we see. We get overwhelmed by underwhelming subjects and we lose heart over matters which shouldn’t even warrant a second look.

I have asked God many times, “Lord, why is it so hard for us to call them as we see them?”

A common cry at the ballpark is for the umpires to invest in stronger glasses. We don’t trust the referees and we second guess the critics who grade our best of efforts well below average. Whose eyes have it?

I have not always seen life clearly even though I am staring intently at what is standing right in front of me. My eyesight is not what it used to be.

The 20/20 days are a distant memory. But in my haste to not allow waste, I might have gone to an extreme which is not accurate of the way things seem.

I now own bifocals and even that isn’t strong enough for me to look into the mirror. How many of you, like me, have purchased a magnifying mirror to help with your low-vision problems?

While it definitely has brought the hard to see into the light of day, it has gone above and beyond what was actually necessary. Suddenly, I was discovering flaws, imperfections and blemishes that I would not normally see.

Because I am wired as a perfectionist, I was beginning to spend hours obsessing and fretting over the mess staring back at me. I have never been very secure in my own looks and let’s just say this purchase was making things a whole lot worse.

When you battle obsessive compulsive disorder to begin with, the last thing you need is more components beyond your control.

Remember the wicked queen in the story of Snow White? She was so preoccupied with being the fairest of them all; she fell into the trap of not being satisfied with who God made her to be.

When you begin to compare, you compete with those who don’t even realize that you have made a contest out of what could have been a relationship. That stupid magnifying mirror might have been the most foolish use of my money since I bought a salad shooter for Terri, Christmas 1985.

I forgot the simple fact that when you use a magnifying mirror, its sole purpose is to enlarge objects. This means whatever you are seeing is going to be bigger than it actually is, to the naked eye.

The average person will not be able to see what you are seeing in this type of mirror and definitely not at the same size you are looking at. So next time you look in the mirror and do not like what you see, keep in mind that what you see in the mirror may be distorted by various factors. 

Maybe it is time for me to throw the mirror away and base my self-image on what God says rather than by what I see.

The enemy of our souls is set to steal, kill and destroy God’s image in us. When God says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, all we hear is that we are monsters and everyone who sees us should be very afraid.

What the enemy labels ugly is what God is making beautiful in His own way. Even the Bible tells us that what made Jesus so attractive wasn’t his matinee idol looks, but His amazing love that He had for others.

Blindness is healed miraculously when we get our focus off ourselves, concentrate on the Lord and let Him write the definition of real beauty. We live in a world of excessive plastic surgery and yet the most handsome feature of our Savior is the scars on His hands and feet and the hole in His side.

Even in the resurrected body, Jesus did not have these traits removed. Perhaps we are missing out on majesty because we are giving permission to Earth to hijack our heaven. It’s about time we start looking through the eyes of love.

When your spouse looks into your eyes, whose reflection does he or she see? When your children come to you for tender loving care, are they hearing life sentences or death phrases?

When you speak to one another, is your language explosive or endearing? Do people feel better about themselves after they have been in your presence?

Are you in the habit of dishing out constructive criticism or cheap shots which puncture the spirit? If Jesus looked into your eyes right now, what do you hear Him saying to you?

How you answer determines whether you need your head examined or your heart renewed.

Let me close with some lyrics of one of my favorite Gene Pitney songs. There are some nuggets of gold in these words:

“In the eyes of the world, I'm a loser, just wasting my time, I can't make a dime

“In the eyes of the world, being born was my first big mistake, I can't get a break

“But in the eyes of my woman I stand like a hero, a giant, a man who's as tall as can be

“Any fool can see that she's looking through the eyes of love when she looks at me

“How would our lives be different if we could see what God sees when He looks at you and me

“I think it’s a view worth fighting for.”

ED. NOTE: The author is the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church, 1248 Route 9 South, Court House.