Posted by: sailingspirit | July 5, 2011

Pit Vision

Tunnel Vision

Image by itsRichie93 via Flickr

When you’re in the pit, like Joseph, you can’t see much of what’s happening in the world or with other people because all you can see is a small circle of sky above you.  It’s so isolating, so much a literal tunnel vision, that you become hyper-focused on what you can see just for the satisfaction of seeing something.  Every detail becomes magnified.  And, out of necessity, you become even more focused on self.  Often, to the point where you begin to think the world, and the lives of other people, does not continue on without you.  If your life is stuck, likely the whole of life is stuck.  It’s like you’re certain nothing can move forward until you’re out of there, up on the surface again, able to witness it happening and contribute to it (or even direct it).  Then it’s real.

An important observation worth sharing today, which must be predicated on two other (previous) observations:

1) The narrowing of focus, firstly to that circle of sky, is on purpose.  Like a telescope it both limits and magnifies your view to that which you have typically ignored before.  That is to say when you were on the surface and could’ve seen the whole sky, you always looked out or over the landscape laterally.  The sky only mattered if it affected your view of what was level to you.  Now, you are forced to contemplate the power in the sky as affecting more than just your interaction with your peers.  It’s as if the Power is saying, “we’re both gonna sit here and wait until you realize that I’m here.  And I’ve been here all along.”  You’re gonna have to build the habit of looking up far more often than you ever did, and this time not with the assumption that the sky is empty.

2) Secondly, you are forced to focus more on yourself, because you are all you have down there.  What you see in the sky above and what can be seen of you by that sky become of supreme importance.  You have nowhere to hide, you are in the spotlight, so you might as well look.  Paradoxically, you feel as if no one can see you and yet you’re more exposed than you’ve ever been.

3) Lastly, and most notably for me today, is the realization that the clock keeps ticking for those on the surface as it does while we’re in the Pit.  At first it seems horribly abasing to realize that life up there keeps on without you, as if no one notices your absence or misses you enough to search for you before going on.  That they can get by just fine without you because you offered no meaningful contribution at all.  Or, worse, that they’re going on happily while you’re miserable.  But, really, the point of this realization is that while certain things are expected of you in your time Down Here, things are expected of them Up There, too.  They’re still laboring away, breaking a sweat in the sun.  And because life is still progressing Up There, conditions you return to will be different than the ones you left. 

If you recall, Joseph was pulled out of the Pit just in time to catch the camel train to somewhere else.  Had he been able to climb out sooner, or been pulled out later, he would have missed the train. Likewise, when he was later imprisoned, he was brought up when conditions were on the cusp of changing.  Had he been freed sooner, it would have been more like stepping back into time than going forward anew.  And because of this, it would have seemed even more like he was imprisoned for true guilt, and not missed at all.  This way, he came back on the scene just in time to be a hero and everyone regretted how they limped along without him all that time.  His image was actually improved when he got out, not tarnished.

So while it may feel like punishment, rejection, uselessness and a major setback to be in this Pit, a change in perspective shows us that it’s truthfully more like a holding pattern.  God has set us aside until He could get the rest of the conditions just right.  He’s given us something to do while we’re waiting (might as well be productive), but we’re not the only ones working here.  He’s working, first of all, changing those conditions (which includes people).  And the other people Up There are working, too.  So think of it more like being at an airport, waiting for your connecting flight.  You may be very fussy and fidgety after a particularly long layover, but fuss all you want it won’t bring the plane to the gate any faster.  Even if you are ready to go now, what’cha gonna do—walk to the end of the jetbridge and, what?  Jump off to splatter yourself on the concrete tarmac below?  That won’t accomplish a thing.  So, it’s not that the world has forgotten you or decided you’re a worthless individual, it’s that the whole network of people and equipment and conditions haven’t managed to get lined up just right yet to provide the plane and crew needed for your takeoff.  If you try to go too soon or too late, you’ll miss your ride.  When God gets all the storms cleared up and all the other stuff ready to go, He’ll call you to the gate and say, “Welcome aboard!  I hope you enjoy your destination!”

If you’re particularly frustrated today, spend some time observing processes and systems that have multiple components or that take time to come about.  Remind yourself that things can be progressing even if they’re not completed yet, and that pieces coming together both in proper time and form really does matter.  If you had all the pieces now, but they weren’t ready yet, you’d still be frustrated.



  1. […] Pit Vision ( […]

  2. Reblogged this on thedreamyactiveinertbrain and commented:
    So true…

How has this impacted your thinking on the matter?

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