What can I say? I love to run. I've run 4 full marathons and 6 halfs. But I love God more and I'm determined to run this race of life for Him to receive the ultimate prize of Heaven. I'd like to share my thoughts with you. You can agree or disagree. Comment or don't. You can read or not read. But it's here if you want it. Enjoy! .

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Their Eyes Were Opened

First of all....a thanks. We received so many emails, cards, gifts, etc. etc. etc. on Griffin's Heaven Day last Tuesday. We could never give enough thanks for the blessing of so many friends and family. It really did turn out to be a special day and I won't forget it. I have so many blessings and gifts from God in my life and I have no reason to be unhappy. God has been so good and I know He will continue to be. He will never leave me or forsake me. (Deut. 31:6)

He gave me another blessing last week. I got to take my oldest son, Carter to his eye appointment!!! I know what you're thinking.....not quite the blessing you were expecting me to share. How is an eye appointment a blessing? Believe me, I didn't think it would be. Not that I don't enjoy spending time with my son, but taking him to the eye doctor wouldn't be my first choice of activities. And to be honest, when planning this trip, I probably wouldn't have guessed the word "blessing" would play a role because I knew what was coming......it was time for contacts. Yep, we decided that this was as good a time as any to try contacts for Carter. He's worn glasses for 2-3 years now. We knew we wanted him to try contacts eventually, especially because he's pretty active in sports. He's worn sports goggles in football, basketball, and baseball but they're almost more of a hindrance than a help. The problem.....every time we mentioned contacts to him, it was like we were telling him his birthday was cancelled. Needless to say, Carter wasn't very excited about it. The thought of having to touch his eye made him more than a little nervous. We would even practice to try and make it easier. Susan would try to slowly touch his eye. Another unfun family activity. He would cringe and blink at a rate of about 400 times a second. So....needless to say, I was slightly dreading taking the plunge and going to the doctor for contacts. But it was time. Or so we hoped.

We started out as usual. Normal checkups, tests and eye exercises. Checking his prescription. Reading the charts. Blah blah blah. Then the moment came....."Carter, I'm going to put this contact in your eye." I saw the look on Carter's face. It was like he heard, "Carter, I'm going to chop off your arms now." He had been dreading this moment for a long time. At that moment he almost let the tears come, but he took a deep breath and held it together. I was proud of him. So the doctor put one in.....not too bad....went pretty much right in. Then the 2nd one. We looked at him. We waited. Then it happened. My favorite moment. The unexpected blessing I mentioned earlier. I saw another look on his face. I wasn't expecting this look. He could see. It was a look of "wow" met with a smile. For the first time ever, he could see well....near perfect.....without glasses. I've never worn glasses, but I'm told that glasses don't cover everything. Your peripheral vision is still blurry. But not with contacts. They cover your whole eye so everything looks clear. And I got to see that moment.....the first time Carter saw everything. And it really was a special moment. He very quickly fell in love with contacts. We had been right. It was time.

We weren't done yet though. The rule is that you can't leave the office with contacts unless you can put them in and take them out.....TWICE! Say what now? He's got to put these things in himself? And then he has to reach into his eye and take them out? Why don't you just ask us to sprout wings and fly to Neverland? That might be easier. But we agreed to go ahead and try the training session. We were given a specialist who agreed to sit with us for as long as it took.....and I have to say....we got the best. She was wonderful with him. She was so patient and encouraging. And it wasn't without tears. It wasn't without frustration. It wasn't quick. It was 45 minutes. But he did it. After 45 minutes, and numerous tries, he finally was able to get them in and out.....twice. We were going to get to take them home. He was thrilled. So was I. I was again proud and excited for him. But like I said....the best thing was the look.....the look on his face when his eyes were really opened for the first time.

Scripture uses that phrase......"eyes were opened" on several occasions. Here are some of my favorites:

1. In 2 Kings 6 Elisha prays that his servant's eyes will be opened so he can see the army of the Lord behind the Syrian army. The 2nd time the servant goes out, his eyes are opened and he sees God's protection. He knows everything will be ok.

2. In Luke 24, after the resurrection of Christ, he walks on the road with two disciples. They don't know who he is, but after breaking bread with Him, it says their eyes were opened and they knew who He was. They then went and told the other the good news.

3. One of my favorites is the story of Jesus healing the man born blind in John 9. Jesus makes mud, puts it on the man's eyes and tells him to go wash. Then his eyes are opened and he can see. He is overjoyed and it even causes him to believe in Christ and change his life.

I teach this last example every year to my 6th graders and I always stress with them that this man had never seen. I try to get them to imagine never being able to see. Imagine what it'd be like to then, unexpectantly be able to see....for the first time. What a amazing blessing that would be. I know it's not exactly the same, but I got to witness a small version of that blessing with Carter at the eye doctor. It was a great reminder to me that even though I've been blessed with two good eyes, I still need to remember to open my eyes every once in a while. Too often, I tend to focus and only open my eyes to what's wrong.....

What am I worried about? How many things do I have to do today? What do I want that I don't have? Why isn't God answering this prayer? Why am I so busy? Why is life so hard sometimes? When will I get to rest?

I could go on. But instead, I need to take more time to just stop, take a breath, and open my eyes. Not just my physical eyes, but the eyes of my heart too. I need to look for God. When you really take the time to look, it'll be obvious that He's here. His works and blessings are all around. We just have to take the time and effort to open our eyes. He'll show them to us. When I actually remember to do so, it's always a blessing and a reminder of what my life's purpose really is. I encourage you to make time to just stop and open your eyes as well. Let God show you who He is and what He will do and what He has done.

Many of you have seen this, but if you haven't, take a look. This says it better than I can.


Allow God to open your eyes and the eyes of your heart. You'll get that same look on your face......a look of "wow" mixed with a smile.

I love God, Griffin, my Girl, and my Guys.

Keep runnin'. The PRIZE awaits. (Php. 3:14)



  1. I watched the video you posted. I cried the whole time. He was happy. He was rocking back and forth. He was jumping at the end. I'm pretty sure that was what Carter was doing inside his heart when he put in those contacts. Earlier, before writing this, I took the time to let God open my eyes. After I prayed, I felt that my heart was lighter then it was. It was like my heart was a balloon lifting higher and closer to Heaven. I'm very happy for you and Carter for getting through that brick wall in your life. Thank you for being one of my 6th grade teachers, and thank you for being in my life.

    Your 6th student,

    Josiah Kareck

  2. Love all your stories Mr. Thweatt!! They teach me life lessons every time I read them... Thank you for being and awesome teacher.
    Your 6th Grade Student,