Our blind spots. It is those certain areas we are not privy to full understanding of in our driver’s seat of life. It is not just a problem to a select few, fortunately… or unfortunately. It plagues us all! It rears its ugly head and we are often unaware that we are drawing wrong conclusions and entering into “danger zones”, negatively affecting ourselves and others.
Biologically speaking, everyone has a blind spot. It is located in the eye; an extremely small area where light does not reach, where the optic nerve exits the eye and enters the brain. Photoreceptors are not present in that particular spot and therefore that which is glaring at you can not be deciphered properly, despite its real presence.
Emotionally speaking, we also have areas of our life where illumination is lacking and we do not see as we need to. Furthermore, some of our life situations can expand our field of blindness. Our autonomic nervous system, with its adrenaline producing effect, could decrease our field of vision causing us to draw erroneous conclusions and solutions to issues that stem from a place devoid of illumination. When adrenaline is secreted in the body as a response to our fight or flight knee- jerk reactions, our body’s efforts for survival render our frontal brain in shut down mode. We literally react without “thinking”. We are offline and embrace survival tactics bringing immediate results. We say and do things as a means of surviving and it's not always the best path to take. We encounter casualties in our path with consequences for both ourselves and others.
Now equate this human experience of blind spots with driving a car and the effects on others as we attempt to proceed forward. As we prepare to move we first turn our heads, we look in all directions and with an “educated” conclusion, we pull out, only to have an ongoing vehicle slam on their brakes and resound a blaring horn and maybe some obscene gesture to notify us of our wrong conclusion. That’s a blind spot!
Add to that, a back-seat driver’s reaction. I don’t know about you but the ever present comments of the “backseat driver” could have the effect of a clanging gong in my ears. Their voice echoes a belief that I am incompetent and in need of assistance. However, if I really stop to evaluate their comments, I would do well to ponder that:
1. As part of the human race, I have blind spots.
2. My “backseat driver” may be strategically placed in my life so they, and myself (I), might live.
3. Allowing others to speak into and alert me of those blind spots.
I am not suggesting that all backseat drivers are without their own blind spots and all are to be impulsively obeyed but the reality is we all need some guidance in life. It is to our advantage to seek out good “backseat drivers” to aid us in our journey. It may be a friend, a mentor, a pastor or a counselor. It is certainly someone whose life has positive outcomes through making good decisions. It doesn’t just end here. As the passage of scripture written by the wisest man ever alive (Solomon) reminds us that:
”Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NKJV
So once we find a wise counselor, our next move is to also be a “light” to others who may need navigation and direction regarding their blind spots. This isn’t our opportunity to lord it over, nor pridefully show others how incompetent they are! Rather it is to love them so much that our insight may bring them on a road of peace and accomplishment.
“Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.”
Daniel 12:3 NKJV
Next time you are driving through life with blind spots all around, remember we all have areas of life that need others to help us in and that we can be that for others too. We never need to journey alone…