When my dad picked me up one weekend, he made me a promise – that he would teach me how to drive. I was 12 and I was overwhelmed with the thought of being behind the wheel. I was convinced that it would be easy. How hard could it be to steer a car? I had plenty of practice watching people drive. That counts as training. Right? This promise elevated my to a rock star status in my esteem. I reminded him of the promise every few hours. He assured me he did not forget. We went out to an empty parking lot not too far from his home. The parking lot was free of any obstacles, so it was declared a “safe zone”. He asked me, “What is the first thing you do when you get in the driver’s seat?”
“Turn the car on?” I questioned back.
“Wrong answer. Put on your seatbelt check your mirrors.” I snapped my seatbelt on giddily and looked at the rear view mirror with no idea what I was checking for. “Now, I’m ready.”
“OK, turn the car on,” he said. I followed his direction and listened attentively to his explanation of the brakes, the gas, and the all important thing in the middle to change gears from park to drive. Then it was time.
As I slowly lifted my foot off the brake pedal and began to move forward, I felt accomplished and skillful. I wasn’t just moving. I was driving! Cue the slow motion cinematography and music. This was EPIC! Even though I was traveling at a snail’s pace, I looked around to see if anyone was watching me. After all, I was cruising around the perimeter of the parking lot. This was a BIG DEAL! I wanted to make sure I had witnesses, because this was going to be a great story to tell. I caught sight of one girl and as I looked at her to see if she was looking at me glide in slow motion my father yelled. “STOP!” He admonished me. “You have to look in the direction that you want to go. The car goes where you are looking. Do you understand?”
I shook my head yes. I was desperate for another chance to drive, but he ended the lesson. “ That’s all for today. Next time we will do more.” I was sad, but he was right. I wasn’t focused on the right things.
This encounter with my dad reminded me of the message found in Psalm 141:8. “But my eyes are fixed on you, sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge – do not give me over to death.” My dad was right, where our eyes are, is where we will end up. I took my eyes off my goal, and off of my mission. I was trying to drive forward looking to the side. With my focus being interrupted, I was headed for danger, even though the designated field was danger free.
It reminded me of my spiritual walk. When my eyes are not fixed on Christ, though my intentions are good I end up outside of the boundaries of what He has declared as safe for me. When my focus is fixed on Christ, I am safe. I am filled with joy. Psalm 40:16 says, “But may all who search for You be filled with joy and gladness in you.” When my focus is distracted, I have noticed that I am easily filled with worry, negative thoughts, and discouragement. When I focus on Him I can pray against those things. I can acknowledge His greatness over my struggles, and even in the midst of obstacles I am filled with the joy of His presence as I seek Him with all my heart.
Where are you today on your journey? Are your eyes fixed on Christ, or are you distracted by other people and things?
Just as my father reminded me while “driving”, our Heavenly Father reminds our hearts today of this one thing – what you focus on dictates the direction you will travel. Pray that when our eyes wander and our heart and lives follow that we will be quickly reminded to turn our eyes, our hearts and our lives back to Christ. Pray that we will be reminded to fix our eyes upon Him, for He is our refuge, our light and our life.
In Jesus name,
What are you looking at? Get your focus back on Christ. We are praying for you! Leave a comment on how you keep your eyes on Christ!