When you see a photo and are challenged to “Find the (blank)”, or “Do you see the (blank)?”, how long does it take? Some people see things right away. Others, like me for example, take several minutes with great effort and brow twisting in examining the photo to find what we are supposed to find, and see it the way other people do. Often, I come up empty-handed, especially when it comes to those optical illusions and stereographic images. I’ve been known to give up, feeling somewhat stupid for not being able to locate it.

Today I saw this puzzler, and chose to be smarter and quicker than the others who claimed to have found the circles. All I saw were straight lines; rectangles. Wait, were those curved lines in the bottom of the squares? I zoomed in, desperate to inspect the picture better in hopes of solving this puzzle. The closer I looked, the more impossible it became. Lines. Lines. Straight lines, no circles.

Then I zoomed back out. Each square is connected by more lines. Or are they? Immediately, my eyes’ focus changed from where I had been convinced the hidden objects were, to what formed the connection to the squared shapes. AHA! It was then that I saw a circle, which led to finding all of them in a matter of a couple of seconds.

I had been focusing on the wrong thing the whole time. I thought I’d find the circles in specific places, but was overlooking the picture in its entirety. All I had to do was change my focus and look at the picture from a different perspective, and all became visible.

The trick to solving these types of riddles is this: do not focus on them so much. Actually, it even helps to cross your eyes a little bit; this allows you to see less detail and more of the overall picture. To find the object, don’t look so closely or intently.

What details in your life are you focusing on right now that are hindering you from seeing the bigger picture?
Are you desperate to find the answers and solve it on your own?
Is that to soothe your pride?

In these days of covid and humanity going all crazy around us, we want to look at the the details of what is happening, and find the answers there. It won’t happen. Instead, try not focusing as much on the events, and try to look at the bigger picture. The important pieces to the puzzle will become more clear; you will see what is important. In allowing your eyes to focus on the overall scene, the Lord will reveal where your attention needs to be.

We get so bogged down on things that don’t matter. Truly, trying to solve the riddles and puzzles of the day won’t change them either. It just takes up your time and fills your head with even more ‘stuff’, so that you become overwhelmed with excessive information, which leads to exhaustion.

“As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18

For clear vision and recognizing what the Lord wants us to focus on, I recommend reading the Word every day. Yes, it can be somewhat puzzling, but that is one mystery that is exciting to attempt to solve! Don’t worry – the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to what he wants you to see, and whisper truths to you through the Word.

For me, I am continually drawn back to Genesis 1-3. I can honestly say that every time I read those chapters, something new is revealed to me that I did not see before. A word, a phrase, a connection… this is worthy of my focus and attention.

View things the way the Lord would. See others through His eyes. See events, illnesses, job losses, moves, riots, differences of opinion, etc. as opportunities to do good and make a difference. When you look back after the fact, you’ll recognize why it is important to focus on the bigger picture.

“I do not cease to give thanks for you,.. that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,…”
Ephesians 1:16-19a

Food for thought: Be Thou My Vision hymn:

vs 1 – Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Fun facts: Research shows that a dexterous brain makes for happier, healthier, people in general. Doing mental exercises, like brain teasers or word and number games, can boost overall brain activity and increase your memory power.

Photo by: Unknown