Archive for July, 2015

Probably about 10% of Australia’s population has dry eyes. Since I’m one of them, I’ve taken a particular interest in the condition called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or Meibomian Bletharitis and learnt that there’s more to our tears than we realise.

In fact our eyes have been so delicately and intricately crafted that it only takes a tiny malfunction in our Meibonian glands to give the idea that there’s a beach party in full swing with sand being the key ingredient. Understanding the make-up of tears has certainly helped me to appreciate the incredible planning and craftsmanship that went into this small part of our body. Let me explain as best I can.

There are three important layers in our tears.  They all need be present in balanced quantities for our tears to effectively moisturise the eyes.  The innermost layer that sits against the cornea is the mucin layer (it produces mucus).  Next is the aqueous layer.  This is made of water and is secreted by the lacrimal gland. The outer layer is made of oil, which is secreted by the meibomian glands which are located in the upper and lower eyelids.

In my case, and most instances of dry eyes, it is the failure of the meibomian glands to produce sufficient oil, that creates the sensation of dry eyes. I’m hoping for some relief from a new treatment called IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) that was featured on Channel 9’s “A Current Affair” about a month ago. In this treatment, intense light stimulates the glands.

I concur with the writer of the Psalms who said of God, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. For most of us three minute layers of mucus, water and oil in equal measure on the surface of the eye keep us comfortable day in, day out all our lives.

As if that weren’t complex enough, try adding the intangible elements of emotion. Add a little sadness, grief, joy or loss and see what happens. 

Then there’s one more element, the spiritual: Early 19th century author, Washington Irving said:

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.

… That’s tears made in heaven.

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treeroots copyA visit to Karijini National Park in Western Australia’s Pilbara region last week was a refreshing reminder of the wonder of God’s handiwork.

The rugged beauty of the ancient walls contrasted with the freshness of rock pools and the grandeur of waterfalls. The rush of water plunging down the rock face overwhelmed the senses, but in another part of the gorge  the twitter of birds was all that broke the silence.

The challenges of nature were everywhere. I couldn’t help noticing the gnarled trees that perched on the rocks and maintained life when the source of life: water and soil, seemed so hard to reach. Over the years the roots had pushed their way through tiny crevices in the rock and had pushed their way towards sunlight, then downwards towards the water far below. The search for water was the factor that enabled the roots to reach further and deeper, no longer restrained by earth, but holding onto the rock face as they spread downwards towards the source of life.

As I looked at these roots I could hear the writer of Psalm 42 talking about the desperate search for God that is built into every person. While it may not be something we are aware of, there is a longing that can’t be filled by anything other than the Creator himself : As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

The “U” of Change

Posted: July 5, 2015 in Uncategorized
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The U of changeIn my last post I talked about three hindrances to change. As you move down the left hand side of the “U” through the process of change you may encounter the voice of judgement, the voice of cynicism and the voice of fear. In order to bring about real change it is necessary to let go of these voices. They will take you to a place at the bottom of the “U” where you come to a deeper place of connection with yourself. But change can’t stop there.

As you move up the right hand side of the “U”, providing you have effectively let go of the voices of judgement, cynicism and fear, you will begin to “let come” three new voices that will allow you to more fully take hold of the future.

The voice of hope is the place where you may crystallise the vision. You can start to envision the future more clearly and, having let go of those voices that hinder, are able to be hopeful of what is yet to come.

The voice of grace enables you to explore the future. Someone once said: We need to fail often to succeed sooner. Grace is not an excuse for doing wrong, but it recognises our failures and allows us to move forward without fear, cynicism or judgement.

The voice of faith is the opportunity to step out in practice. Change requires faith because there must come a time when you’re prepared to take a step forward and grasp the future as it emerges.

This process can hold true in organisational change as well as in individual change. It is relevant to the change process that is required in spiritual growth as well as the changes we experience in the workplace, at church and in the home. Remember CS Lewis’ words in my last post: CS Lewis once said: It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

If you’re going through change right now, enjoy the journey and stay strong!