Monday, February 25, 2013

Why I Fell

When I lived near the mountains of North Carolina, I was somewhat addicted to mountain biking. There is something exhilarating about going 30mph-plus through heavily wooded and steep terrain. The learning curve in such a sport is often unforgiving when you hit a tree or slip on an exposed root. The one obstacle to give me the most trouble was log bridges. No matter what I did, I fell off more than I stayed on. That can be frustrating and it is certainly painful.
One day, a more experienced rider watched my technique and immediately recognized my problem—my eyes. No, I didn’t need glasses; it was where my eyes were looking, my focus or point of aim that was the problem. He told me a simple yet profound rule, “Where you look, there you will go.” Don’t look at the ditch, look at the bridge and your tires will follow. From that moment, I stayed on logs and other teetering hurdles more than I fell off.
As a pastor, most people who come and talk to me want to know one thing:

How do I get my life back on track?

The response I give is their eyes have lost their focus. Just like my point of aim was wrong as I rode the logs, so our glances in life become staring points and where you look, there you will go
It is so easy to look at the problem, the obstacle, or the danger and miss the Answer. Other times it is the temptation to look too long at deceptively ‘beautiful scenery’ (power, success, wealth, sensual desires) and completely miss the bridge, the trail, and the exit. The good news is that while we have breath, our Solution is always right in front of us, and He is inviting you to let Him direct, lead, and sometimes carry you through your troubled waters.

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:14
One of the primary reasons the ‘way is hard’ is because of our focus. We can lose sight of our intended target for many reasons. Sometimes our reason is arrogance or believing our path is better, fear of the world’s opinion, embarrassment thinking Jesus can’t forgive us and will not help, our past failures to walk the straight and narrow, or a multiplicity of other rationalizations.  

Adjust your focus from the problem to the Answer!

‘Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6

If you miss this bridge, you have missed everything, and your life will have amounted to nothing more than temporal fascination that leads nowhere. Today is a new day and your choice is to keep your eyes on Jesus or turn your glance to the world. One thing is certain,

Where you look, there you will go.