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Sunday, February 22, 2015

I don't need new glasses!

Mind, will, and emotions - a man's heart - all three engage in a kind of "war" at times - confusing us beyond measure so often.  We work with our minds to figure out solutions to problems, creating complex schemes about how this catastrophe or that crisis might be averted.  Our will challenges us with desires that captivate our attention and focus our drive.  Then we get all muddled up in the plethora of emotions we can muster depending on the situation, our general sense of "threat" or "enjoyment", or the amount of sleep we had the night before!  No wonder we get all messed up!  With these three powerful things working against each other at times, it is easy to see how we can get our wires crossed and find ourselves being charged up and going in the totally wrong direction.

With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow. (Proverbs 3:5-6 CEV)

After re-reading that passage again, it becomes pretty apparent where it is we are to focus our heart.  The majority of the confusion we find in our lives is really a matter of focus - not that we don't love Jesus enough, or that we don't know the right "rules" to follow.  The place we fix our attention becomes the very thing which will guide our thoughts, direct our will, and "even out" our emotions.  If I read this correctly, even one part of our heart "mis-focused" will result in us trusting our own judgment!  It is our "whole" heart which needs to be focused - not reliant upon our own means to the end - and therein is the rub!

I have worn glasses since fifth grade.  For a period of time, I was able to wear contacts, making life a little easier without glasses slipping down my nose.  As I aged, I had to return to the glasses.  One thing I notice is the different ways I get things in "focus" with glasses.  If I don't quite see them as clearly a I like, I can lift them up or pull them down a little.  This sometimes changes the field of vision produced through the lens just enough to bring clarity to the image I am viewing.  Now, there are times I have to take my glasses totally off to see something very small like the eye of the needle!  Surprisingly, I see the tiniest things better when I have nothing in between me and the eye of the needle!

No, I don't need bifocals - I wear trifocals!  Yet the lens doesn't always help me focus any clearer, especially when it comes to the small stuff.  Something becomes evident to me in this example, though.  The more I struggle to see through my lens, the blurrier the image becomes.  The quicker I remove all obstacles between me and the object of my focus, the image becomes clearer. Maybe this is exactly what Solomon hand in mind when he reminds us we need to trust God with all our heart and not rely upon our own judgment to get us through. I can keep trying to get the thread through the head of the needle all day with my glasses on - or I can immediately lay them aside and "woosh", the needle is threaded!  I can keep trying to run life's issues through my mind, bring my will into submission in one direction or the other, and get my emotions on board with all this, or I can simply turn to God and let him handle it!

To me, the choice seems simple - so why do I (and probably you) complicate life so much?  It is probably because we haven't learned to "let go" of the things which get in between us and God - letting them "interfere" with our focus.  In my case, it has been thought patterns which I needed to "unlearn" - like the ones I used to think about over and over again which said I was a "loser" and a "reject".  Those were the lies I heard when I was an awkward preteen girl - words spoken to me by other preteen girls and boys, but hidden deep within my memory.  Why did they take root?  Because I let them!  I rehearsed them until it got to the point I believed them!  I didn't have the truth in my life at that time, so there was nothing to contradict what I was being told.  When I got deeper and deeper into the truth about what God says about me, I found a totally different story!  Getting those thoughts out of the way took some doing, but now they don't stand in between God and me any longer.  Those things which interfered with my seeing myself the way God sees me had to be laid down in order to let me see myself as God sees me.  How about you?  You got any thoughts which need to be laid down in order to see the truth as God sees it?

We might have emotions which we need to let God deal with in order to bring balance into our lives, or strong attitudes which direct our actions repeatedly. Regardless of what is "in between" you and God right now, you will only "clarify" your focus when you put those things down long enough to behold his face.  Trust me on this - when you do, the "eye of the needle" becomes much clearer!  Just sayin!