I need a moment to set this one up…let me introduce you a bit to my wild train of thought that landed me here on my couch to write frantically before I have to get a cavity filled in an hour (possibly one of my least favorite procedures, outside of a bone marrow biopsy…). I have had an idea rolling around in my head for a few days-ever since my insightful daughter made a comment while we were driving in the rain. As the windshield wipers madly flapped back and forth, she said something like, “isn’t it amazing how our eyes adjust so we can SEE the road or anything at all when those things are moving so fast in front of our faces?” Naturally, I turned it into a teachable moment, and for some reason she was mostly annoyed that I had ruined her moment by bringing some spiritual thoughts into the matter (anyone else ever had a teenager?). Fast forward a few days. As I was driving home this morning I was still feeling pretty strongly that this was a concept to be explored in a blog. When I got settled on my couch, poised to type away, I luckily noticed God gently nudging me to do some reading before I barreled in to sharing my thoughts out loud. I opened my first book and here was the first sentence for today’s reading, “Hope for what you do not see; eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” The rest of the reading was all about sight and vision, which was exactly what I intended to focus on. I just have to remind myself when these things happen, that God is real and He is with me, even in decisions I think I have made myself. He is guiding me if I take time to ask or just-plain pay a bit of attention. So-moving on….
Going back to my very wise teachable moment with my daughter…If our eyes did not adjust to see past the rapid movement of the wiper blades, we would simply drive into a ditch or on-coming traffic. But they do and we are able to see the road and the scenery in front of us. My point to my daughter was that there are time in my life (right now, for example) that I allow my focus to fix on the wiper blades (my problems or perceived problems, my circumstances, my failures, fears and anxieties) and miss the landscape-the bigger picture-that is beyond them. Not only is this a terrible way to live, it’s dangerous and potentially deadly. God reminds us over and over again in His word that living by faith and in hope gives us the assurance of what we do not see. We can fix our eyes on Him by focusing our sights not on the wiper blades of our circumstances but on the scenery and the road beyond them. Those wipers, those distractions, remind me of a toddler jumping up and down in front of a mother trying to have a conversation, screaming, “Mom!Mommy!Look at me!Mom!Mom!Mommy.Look at me!Moooom!”. They are both working really hard to distract us from what’s out in front; Where we are going and the beauty around us. They keep us from seeing how we might serve someone broken down on the side of the road-people in our lives who might need our help. It’s a desperate and scary way to live.
Unfortunately, our “vision” for daily living does not automatically adjust like it does when we drive in the rain with wipers on. We have to make some choices to focus on what is beyond those constant, tedious distractions. When we trust fully in God’s vision for us, we are able to see through the eyes of our heart. We see things that are “not yet”. We hope and believe and live free because we trust that the bigger picture is better than focusing on the many many things in our lives that make us dizzy with worry and fear. Sarah Young, the author of my reading today suggests this: “Practice hoping for things you do not see-both for this life and the next. Ask Me (God) to guide you into hopes and dreams that are in line with MY will. TRAIN the EYES of your heart to SEE these blessings, while praying for my will to be done fully and only. Discipline yourself to wait eagerly-with your FOCUS on Me and the longed-for outcome.”
Next time you drive in the rain-or maybe the next time you clean your windshield-remind yourself that where you fix your gaze and choose to focus is up to you. If you “drive” with your vision steady on the what and Who is beyond the anxious frenzy of the “wiper blades” you will have a much better chance of arriving safely and unharmed at your destination.