Blinders

I have always wanted to go on a carriage ride through the city. It seems so romantic and peaceful. When I visit big cities I am always tempted to take a ride in the carriages that are usually near the hotel, but inevitably I will choose to walk.

I have always wanted to go on a carriage ride through the city. It seems so romantic and peaceful. When I visit big cities I am always tempted to take a ride in the carriages that are usually near the hotel, but inevitably I will choose to walk. One of my favorite sounds is the peaceful trotting of a horse...One of my favorite sounds is the peaceful trotting of a horse pulling a carriage through a quiet park. It would probably be difficult to take a horse out of a pasture, and put him in the city among the traffic and noise of the people, and expect him to go where he is told. That is why the owners use blinders. Blinders are leather flaps on the bridle that keeps the horse from seeing to the sides. It helps the animal to focus and stay on course. Blinders were used on farm horses and mules to pull plows or wagons in the small farm community where I grew up. This is a good thing, because by limiting the horse's peripheral vision he is not distracted by the surroundings, and the owner has better control.

There is a disease that can limit the peripheral vision in adults, also. It is called glaucoma. It is a disease of the eye, characterized by increased pressure within, and hardening of the eyeball. If left untreated the disease can destroy the peripheral vision (vision that is around and outside the center of the eye), and eventually result in blindness. Not being able to see all the things around us could be frustrating. Imagine hearing the sound of a bird or the laughter of a child, and not being able to glance out of the corner of your eye to catch the sight before it disappears. However, there are times we need to put on invisible blinders in order to avoid unnecessary distractions, while other times the invisible blinders we have put on will cause us to miss some important things.

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Just like the horse pulling a carriage, sometimes we need to focus on what is ahead. I do that a lot. When I am working on a project or trying to reach a goal, I sometimes put on invisible blinders, so I won't be distracted. It helps me reach my goals, solve problems, and sometimes finish something I have started. That is good if I remember to take them off when I finish my task, but occasionally I will forget, and the task or problem will become the biggest thing I see, while my peripheral vision will become blurred. Once when my children were teenagers, I was so worried about what the outcome would be if I made the wrong decision in a certain situation. I spent a lot of family time concentrating on the problem. My daughter, who seems to have been born with words of wisdom spouting out of her mouth, said to me, “Mom, don't you think God cares enough about the world that he will always have a back up plan if we mess up?” I felt kind of silly. Of course, he does, I told her. I realized that I could only do the best I could and then trust. Trust can be difficult if you depend only on yourself, and do not realize that there are those around you who care.

I have always wanted to go on a carriage ride through the city. It seems so romantic and peaceful. When I visit big cities I am always tempted to take a ride in the carriages that are usually near the hotel, but inevitably I will choose to walk. One of my favorite sounds is the peaceful trotting of a horse...

The times that I can look beyond myself, and recognize that I am one person in a world of millions, with one problem in a world of many problems, I become aware that my problems may not be as bad as they seem. The answer may be simply to put things into perspective. Even so, we have to make the conscious effort to lift our heads up from our work, our accomplishments, or our problems to see that what we are doing is not the only thing that is going on in the world. It may help to see ourselves as little rocks being skipped across a pond. We are definitely making our own unique ripple, but we aren't going to drain the entire pond with our splash.

A few weeks ago, I went to Denver for a conference. We took a day and hiked a long distance into the Rocky Mountains. We were so far back that I could hear only the sounds of a running brook and birds calling out to each other. The air was cool and crisp, as snow was still on the ground there. Suddenly everything I worried about everyday seem so small. For a moment, standing there surrounded by huge snow capped mountains, it took my breath away to comprehend how much bigger the world is than I imagine it every day. When I went back into the city, there were the beautiful horses and carriages waiting to enchant visitors with their romantic carriage rides. As I looked at the horses, I wondered what direction they would go, if someone took their blinders off.

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Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

Deana Landers has had many roles in life — Pastor’s Wife , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer and Motivational Speaker ... more