Which Is Better: One Or Two?

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin

Recently I went for my annual eye exam and the doctor followed the regular routine, a routine you probably know. Pushing the optical instrument up to my face, and flipping various lenses in front of my eyes to measure any change in my vision, the doctor asked each time: “Which is better, one or two?”
My exam was successful and I don’t need new glasses this year, but I’ve been thinking about the doctor’s repeated question, “which is better, one or two,” and how it serves as an analogy for the way we see life every day, for there we also have two options. “One” is a blurred, secular vision without God; and “two” is a focused vision of faith with God at the very center.
The first vision, the secular approach, is the predominant view these days. So many people are living, just existing, without the practice of any religious faith. They are “practical atheists” who go about their daily routine without any reference to or direction from God. God is marginalized, put in the corner of their daily activities like a spiritual fire extinguisher, to be pulled out only in case of an emergency. It’s an empty, arid existence, devoid of any ultimate meaning. The measure of their life is how much material success they achieve, how much stuff they accumulate, and how comfortable they are.
The second vision is quite different. It’s a rich and abundant life seen through the eyes of faith. In this scenario people view God as the center of their lives. They recognize God as their Creator and Judge, their Heavenly Father who loves them personally, cares about them, and how they’re doing each day. For these folks religious faith is important because it’s their bridge to God. This vision imparts beauty, meaning and direction to life. Here there are clear and unchanging moral values, a belief in right and wrong that comes not from political correctness but from the law of God as revealed in the Commandments and the teachings of Christ.
The times in which we’re living are increasingly secular and atheistic. Our culture has been scrubbed clean of God and religious practice. Is it any wonder that there’s so much anger and angst around us? But still we have a choice. Do we live without God or with Him? Which is better, one or two? I’ll take two.
Something to think about: How’s your vision, your spiritual vision?