Over the last couple of years, I’ve become aware of how hard it’s become to see clearly. Six months ago my eye doctor began planning for cataract surgery. Now, I am a bit twitchy about people messing with my eyes. But when I had to ask Beth what color the traffic lights were, and when headlight glare made night-time driving risky…it was time.

Cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans over 40. They normally develop slowly. Gradually, the patient finds it harder to see clearly. The good news is that while cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide, they are usually correctable.

The truth is, more than 200,000 cases like mine happen every year in the USA. Cataract surgery is normally safe and quick. My eye’s clouded natural lens would be removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens.

But I controlled the outcome. I had to surrender to the procedure. If I refused to submit to the surgeon’s wisdom and skill I’d be stuck with increasingly poor vision and ultimately, blindness.

On the Thursday before Christmas, my surgery took less than 30 minutes. Before long, Beth drove me home. Friday morning, when we took off the bandage, I wasn’t prepared for the what I saw. Or more accurately, “how” I saw.

It was like going from our old standard TV to a new HDTV! Colors popped! Details were suddenly visible. My distance vision was awesome! Things really did look different. But they hadn’t changed, I had! And this restored sight will make a huge difference in how I read, write, take photos, and appreciate the world around me.

How we see reality matters. The Lord Jesus warned his followers that the “eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” (Matthew 6:22-23)

Sometimes, we develop blurred spiritual vision. Imagine how polluted our souls can become if, over time, our spiritual eyesight grows dim. Do we see God with the same clarity, assurance, and enthusiasm that we once did? Can we recognize the grace he pours into our lives each day? If we’re not careful, “spiritual cataracts” can rob us of a clear vision of Christ and his Kingdom. We may need corrective surgery from our Master. It’s safe and life-changing, but to benefit from it, we must submit to the process. Only by surrendering can we be helped.

So, is the Light of the world filling our souls? Or are we gradually becoming less and less sensitive to the glory of God and his kingdom?  As 2017 approaches, if we need a spiritually corrective procedure, maybe it’s time to talk to someone about it.