When I was a child, I rode five miles downhill to school. I could do 30 mph going and 5 mph coming home. I learned that if I stared at a rock or a pothole, it would suck me right in.
The state police warn people to not stare at an accident in front of you, but look up and steer to safety, or else, by the time you figure out what is happening and what you should do–it’s too late.
What do you stare at?
In counseling we have learned that when people spend all their focus on:
- the past,
- on being unlike one’s parents,
- on how they were hurt,
- on what they have or haven’t done,
- on the irrationality and severity of their obsessions,
- on what they don’t have,
- what they can’t do,
- who isn’t in their lives,
- on their fears of the future etc etc.
They make no progress. Like Peter, we are distracted by the sound of the wind and waves and take our eyes off of the Lord. We become so preoccupied by our mess that we secretly believe that we are unfixable.
Oh, I need to acknowledge that I am the chief of sinners dwelling in a sin-damaged world, with thoughts and feelings and “ways” that are not like God’s.
I Must Not Dwell On The Negative
I must take my negatives to God and ask him if he thinks that his grace is sufficient, then leave them there.
I remember one troubled lady who went to a business women’s lunch in which Christians shared testimonies. At the ending invitation she prayed, “Lord if you think you can make anything out of the mess that is me; you are welcome to try.”
Obviously I need to “turn my eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face.” But How?
Heart and Habit
Remember the important mix of both heart and habits. Many Christians are so afraid of rote works and rituals that they don’t realize the importance of backing up with good habits our desire to return to our first love.
In a marriage, it is good to set aside a date night and defend it from all distractions. This does not rob the relationship of loving spontaneity but insures the nurturing of the relationship.
I refer you back to the noon, supper, and bedtime “ritual” of seeing the Lord in something he has helped you do, something he has done in others or through them for you, or some little part of life he has given you to savor.
This habit helps my brain start to see him throughout the day .
I’m sure that I will soon catch myself staring at another pothole of a problem. If it isn’t the Lord asking me to do the little I can, then I need to pull my focus away and walk the current situation with him.