Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Seeing things with a great clarity is a great blessing in my life

Riding my bike without the need of glasses
is a wonderful reawakening
As I was riding my bicycle this morning on some of the great bike routes in my community and thinking how wonderful it's been to be able to ride without prescription classes.  It hasn't been that way, in fact, less than six months ago, I had some pretty heavy glasses with prisms that distorted things like stairs when you were trying to walk down them!  I've been blessed with a lot of things in my life, but great vision isn't one of them.  I actually did pretty well until High School, when I received my first pair of glasses.  I mostly used them for classroom situations.  By the time I returned home from my mission, I had to start wearing them more regularly and within a few years had to wear them all the time.  I was nearsighted, so reading was never a problem, but distance vision was the challenge.  Eventually astigmatism came into play and were followed with prisms.  Only good part of that, was that my children almost never put on my glasses because five seconds of them seeing double vision through them was enough to cure the problem!

About four years ago, my eye doctor indicated that my cataract problem in my eyes would progressively getting worse and would require surgery.  In 2012, he indicated, he could no longer correct through glasses and my vision and that within a year I would need surgery in both eyes.  Two of my brothers had surgery, that while successful, were followed with some other complications.  They in theory were not tied together, but it made me nervous.  In cataract surgery, they physically remove your lenses and place new ones in their place, so blindness, while minimal, is a risk of the surgery.  It's one reason they do both eyes at least two weeks apart, to assure you some continuance of vision.  The doctor warned me that my vision would get progressively worse and cloudy.  By the end of 2012, it was clear I would need to do something, but I waited until June of 2013 to maximize my insurance benefit and the city council would be done with most of their meetings.  The doctor gave me the option to replace my lenses with a toric lens, which had the potential of correcting my vision.  While I had options of how to correct my vision, I opted to become far sighted, thus requiring reading glasses.   Both surgeries were successful, and for the first time in nearly two decades, I had 20/20 vision.  Unfortunately my astigmatism remained.  However Dr. Miller indicated that since both eyes had done so well that I should consider an additional surgery to correct my eye muscle.

 I visited Dr. Peterson at Rocky Mountain Eye Center, who felt comfortable that with surgery, I might be able to go without glasses.  That surgery, while less risky than cataract surgery, would require them to sever the eye muscle, realign the eye to match the other one and then tie it up again.  My counselors in the Stake Presidency gave me a blessing and I felt at peace that things would be well.  Even when Dr. Peterson did a post surgery adjustment to my eye while out of anesthesia to get a better alignment, I was able to hold still and feel a peace that I didn't think I had in me.  My vision has corrected so well, that I seldom use reading glasses and if its about 30 inches away, I can see it clearer than when I had bifocal classes.  In a very literal way, my world has opened up to me in way, I never imagined.

In a similar way, since being called as President of the Rose Park Stake last November, I have been humbly grateful at the spiritual clarity that I feel and experience on a regular basis.  While my sixteen years of public service and even my current public service as an appointed official for Salt Lake County have been an incredible a rewarding experience, working with individuals and seeing the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their life is more rewarding.  It has hard moments, some of which I think about constantly because they are heartbreaking but God has not left me alone.  I find the sweet and overwhelming influence of the Holy Ghost in my life to be such a humbling experience that I frequently ask myself why God would choose me to have this experience.  I am grateful however and the clarity of the gospel and its truthfulness in how it changes people lives if they're willing to live it. It's even more clear than anything I physically see.   While this world has many challenges, it has wonderful opportunities as well. It's wonderful to see it with such great clarity!