Sunday, December 05, 2010
Just Enough to Not Trust
Last week a friend took me on a tour of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California, as research for a writing project. We had a great tour guide. Susie spent over an hour and a half with us, showing us all over the grounds, introducing us to dogs and adorable puppies (guide dogs in training), and telling about the genetics, science, and careful selection that goes into training and choosing dogs that will be most capable of leading the blind and visually impaired.
When I told her that I was visually impaired, Susie took immediate interest. Of course she asked if I’d ever gone through guide dog training or considered using one. I explained that, while I was born legally blind, I had been trained to adapt to the sighted community. After we talked for awhile, Susie made an interesting comment.
“You might be seen as someone who has just enough vision to not trust a guide dog.” I also learned too many adaptation skills to let a dog lead, no questions asked.
I have a feeling that Susie is right. I can’t remember I time when I wasn’t encouraged to rely on my ability to compensate for limited sight—to find a way to “do it myself” instead of expecting others to hold my hand. The good part is that I memorize quickly, listen closely, and don’t need to see something to find it or get a job done. On the other hand I hesitate to ask for help with anything vision related. If a guide dog tried to stop me from crossing a street and my ears didn’t detect a problem, I might just keep walking and get mowed over by one of those new quiet cars.
Later I thought about other areas where I have just enough confidence in my own ability to be a threat to myself. Take God, for example. There are times when I must admit that I have just enough vision to not trust Him. I know what I’m doing. I know the plan. I’ve mapped out my route. “I can do it myself.” How often have I gotten frustrated with Him for holding me back and ran on ahead, only to be knocked down, or carry out a plan without consulting Him at all?
Maybe it’s better to be blind sometimes. When you are blind you know you need help. So I took note of Susie’s comment and applied it to my walk with God. I don’t want to be a child who has too much vision to trust—too much confidence to admit my need for Him.
In what areas do you have just enough “vision” to not trust? How have you learned to rely on Him as if you were a blind girl with her guide dog?