Did you ever go to the optometrist?  Of course you did.  Those of you who have been blessed enough to need corrective lenses in order drive, or read, or put your pants on correctly, know the drill.  Someone who is NOT a doctor stands with you in a dark room while your face is pressed against "the iron mask" and you begin the "number 1/number 2" test.  You stare through the lenses and all you see is a fuzzy, jumbled mess.  And the non-doctor assistant says "is it better with number 1 or number 2?  One?  Or Two?"  You pick the clear one, only to find another "1 or 2" exchange.  As the slightly clearer fuzzy mess comes into view, you oblige and pick the one that looks clearer.  If you've been graced with this experience, then you know you're in for a fairly long game of "one or two" and probably a headache too.  With each new lens that clicks down from the iron mask, the letters in front of you slowly come into view.  Until finally, after a lengthy series of one's and two's, and a few "go back, I can't decides" you arrive at your prescription - your clarity - your lenses.

I have been a Christian for a while and lately, my attempts at discerning God's plan and desires for my life and ministry have seemed to be a lot like my time in the optometrist's chair.  At first all I see is a fuzzy, jumbled, incoherent mess.  I can't quite make out any of the letters; can't quite see where it is I'm supposed to go; can't clearly see what I'm supposed to do exactly.  But then, at the appropriate time, the lenses begin to "click" into place.  The mess becomes clearer.  Still not discernible, but clearer.  And I wait for the next one.  Sometimes it comes quickly, other times it seems to take forever.  But all the while, the jumbled mess before me gets clearer and clearer.  All of a sudden certain options are eliminated - it looks better with option #2.  My passions and desires are refined - not changed entirely, but like my gaze at the wall chart, simply focused in.  I have experienced the "clicks" in rapid succession lately.  It is wonderful, terrifying, and gives me a bit of a headache.  I can see with relative clarity what it is the Lord has called me to do.  I am beginning to be able to read the words on the wall.  And just like the optometrist's office, I begin to see the world a little different, I'm able to catch details I used to miss, and I can see how it all fits together.  And so, it is with great excitement and joy, and a healthy measure of terror that I embrace and enter into the work that God has called me to....