You know what they say. Hindsight is always 20/20. If you could have seen then what you see now, things would be different. How many of us have thought that, said that, believed that?
Something outside my kitchen window one morning recently reminded me hindsight truly is like that. If I had just noticed something in the past, I realize the present may be entirely changed.
I always start my mornings with a hot cup of tea. As I filled my teakettle at the kitchen sink one morning, I did what I usually do, scanned the horizon outside the window above the sink.
The landscape I view from there includes our back yard and a tree line of overgrown brush that separates our property from the farmer’s field directly behind us.
That’s when I noticed it. Something rather large perched in one of the trees. I pulled the binoculars out of the coat closet, held them up to my eyes, zoned in on the tree, and focused.
And there he sat. Just sat. Watching over the brush, our yard, and most likely the right of way passage of overgrown grasses between our house and our neighbor’s. No doubt, he was in search of his next victim. His prey. Those little critters hiding out in the tall grass.
He watched like a hawk. Because, well, he was one. I grabbed my camera, fitted the telephoto zoom lens on it, and stepped out into my back yard to try to capture this creature’s image.
I managed a couple of shots, then proceeded to minimize the distance between that hawk and me even further by walking slowly – ever so slowly – towards the back edge of our property and towards the hawk.
But ol’ hawkeye spied me, decided I was getting way too close for comfort, and off he flew before I could even lift the camera back up to my eye. I guess as I was keeping my eye on him, he was watching me like …well…a hawk.
And that made me think. If you watch people more closely – watch them like a hawk – could you avert certain situations?
If you scrutinize them, their attitudes, their characters, their actions, their good points and their not-so-good points, would you be able to discern that a person who seemed to be a decent, upstanding sort of human being, might just turn around and do something that would cause you great harm or distress?
I’ve often thought that I was a good judge of character because I do observe people, how they talk, how they act, and more importantly, how they treat others. But I seriously doubt my ability anymore because I have been flamboozled by folks that have just boggled my mind with their actions.
What did I miss? What major red flags did I just not see that should have warned me the person wasn’t all he/she claimed to be? Were there signs along the way that I just didn’t notice?
Of course, that leads me to think I need to be more hawk-like – engage in fervent watching people like a hawk – to keep away those who may hurt my loved ones or me.
It’s a conundrum though.
My head warns me to be hawk-like and pounce upon the misdoings and faults of others especially if those actions might affect my loved ones adversely. But my heart…my heart…it implores me to be more like a dove.
But then my thoughts turn to the book of Matthew in the New Testament, Chapter 10. In verse 16, Jesus tells His disciples, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” He continues by cautioning His followers to “Be on guard.”
I believe Jesus meant that we must take a balanced view when we are out in the world.
As a Christ follower, I shouldn’t fall into wrong doing myself because of what’s been done to my loved ones or me. In that respect, I should attempt to remain innocent as a dove and listen to my heart.
But I live in a world of wolves (many who are dressed in sheep clothing) and in that case, I must be shrewd (sharp, discerning, perceptive) as a snake…or perhaps a hawk.
And yes, I need to be on guard at all times. Ever watchful. Ever vigilant. Just like that hawk perched in that tree.
You can just call me Hawk Eye.
“If we had great distant vision like a hawk, we could avoid most disasters, altering our future.” ~ Unknown