Contemplating “Bob’s View”
Who hasn’t enjoyed a View Master? I remember sitting around as a kid, my View Master pointed toward the sunlit window, staring in wonder at the oh-so-real images of Noah and the Ark. It was as if, for that moment, I was right there watching tigers being captured, seeing the devastating flood waters first hand, watching the dove fly from Noah’s hand. What I didn’t realize at the time was that an invisible View Master is actually strapped to my eyes, and everyone else’s, all the time. This invisible “View Master” is our mind. Our mind converts, changes, and adapts reality into what feeds, protects, and empowers our ego. My neighbor walks across my front yard. I tell myself, “I work hard and I own this property. He has no right to cut across my yard. Who does he think he is? That’s the problem with our society. Maybe I should put up a fence. Maybe I’ll walk through his living room sometime. But Jesus says forgive. And if Jesus can forgive those who nailed him to the cross the least I can do is forgive my thoughtless neighbor. In fact I’ll do more than forgive him I’ll pray for his soul. He probably needs help. He probably needs a good friend and maybe that’s what God wants me to be, his good friend. I will do that God. Help me to help him.” What just happened? My neighbor walked across my yard, that’s what just happened. All that other stuff is Trey’s View. It’s a make-believe world that I buy into every moment of every day. It’s filtered reality that suits my ego. I begin to realize this when my wife says to me at supper, “I saw our neighbor pick up some trash out of our yard this morning. What a nice guy.”
1. What catches your attention about this image?
2. What is reality?
3. Unlike us Jesus had no “View Master.” What stories from the life of Jesus illustrate this truth?
4. Take a few minutes to remember an event or conversation that just happened today. What parts of that event or conversation are real and what parts of it is your commentary, your version of reality?
5. If this were an image of you right now what discs would you be holding?
6. So, once we realize we have this “View Master” strapped to our heads, now what?