Shades. Tints. Stunners. Sunnies.  They are an integral part of your wardrobe. You keep them in your car.  You examine yourself in the mirror when wearing them to see if you can strike the right ‘tude.   The one off the CD album, of course.  Sunglasses help you see.  But they also help others see you the way you want to be seen.

The thing about sunglasses is that they buffer reality.  The sun’s harsh rays, we now know, can contribute to a host of eye-related problems. The science of optics has increased our chances of beating these odds, if we’d only wear the sunglasses this science designed.

I got to thinking about shades recently.  

I got to thinking about how we all possess filters.  Filters through which we process the good and bad of life, not just the sun’s rays.

I got to thinking about how we all possess filters.  Filters through which we process the good and bad of life, not just the sun’s rays. We’ve all heard of the proverbial “rose colored glasses.”  But isn’t it equally true that some of us put on glasses tinted gray? You know the pair, the ones that throw a cast over everything the color of dirty dishwater.

Here are two recent dishwater-filtered incidents:

A.  I was discussing with a friend a turn of events that left me high and dry, figuring if there were ever a time to indulge in a little self-pity it was now.  The reality is, my day-to-day normalcy has in no way been changed and, given a little time, I will get through this hurdle too. 

B.  I overheard a teenager state that s/he couldn’t wait to become an adult so life could really begin.  Whaaaat?  Most of look back at our high school years as care-free and long for those days.

Here are some incidents I know where a healthy pair of rose-colored glasses really helped out.

A.  “I look forward to coming to your home,” the N.J. Commission for the Blind representative told my mother.  “With a disability like yours, attitude is everything. You’ve not let being legally blind change your zest for life. As a result, there is still so much you’re able to do.”

B. “Cancer can have my body, but it can’t have me!   I am more than just the sum of what’s happening in my cells.”  This attitude helped the elderly individual in question extend her life far beyond what the doctor’s predicted.

How do we go about changing our filter on life?   Choose who you hang out with is one time-proven way.  Friends with positive attitudes help a lot. Consider also this tip from the Apostle Paul, someone who knew difficulty at point-blank range.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” What is this new pattern of thinking? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.” Philippians 4:6-8

But his advice doesn’t end there,

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice.”  (verse 9)

Before the shades can do their thing, you’ve got to slip them on.  Put on your pair today.  The only question is: Will they be tinted rose or gray?