Friday, March 4

Spinning Wildly

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith--Hebrews 12:2a

When I was a little girl, I loved for my mom to turn on the record player so I could pretend to be a ballerina. I would spin around and around, watching my feet and the pattern on the carpet swirl together into one indistinguishable blend of browns and golds. Instead of toe shoes, I wore Big Bird slippers. Instead of Tchaikovsky, I danced to Cher and Neil Diamond; instead of being able to twirl endlessly, I often collapsed from dizziness.

When I got a little older, I learned that dancers like ballerinas and ice skaters have a little trick they use to keep themselves from getting dizzy. They are trained to locate a fixed focal point, and to turn their heads in such a way as they spin, that the fixed point remains in their line of sight until the last possible second. When they have completed the spin, they immediately focus on the point again to establish a sense of equilibrium. This is how they keep from falling or becoming very dizzy.

I thought about how this principle is something that we can apply to our everyday lives. Even Christians have times in their lives when things don't go as smoothly as planned. Inevitably, each of us will encounter some type of circumstance that will seem to send our world spinning wildly out of control. Unless we find something steadfast that we can use as a focal point, we may be swept away by those dizzying situations. If we don't have a way to reestablish our equilibrium, we run to risk of endangering our faith.

Jesus is our steadfast focal point. For as much as life changes, he remains the same. He is constant and faithful. Although our selfish ways may keep us from completely fixing our eyes on him at all times while we spin, the important thing is that we make the effort to return to him. When I have faced difficult times in my life, it has been easy for me to take my eyes off Jesus for a time. At those times, I was feeling so consumed with finding a way to deal with my problems on my own that I failed to allow Jesus to handle them for me. The longer I went without him as my focal point, the more overwhelmed I felt. Until I returned my gaze to him, my world went on spinning wildly out of control.

Even when I have fixed my eyes firmly on Jesus, there are times when life continues to spin. That is just the reality of life here on earth. We are often at the mercy of circumstances beyond our control. God never promised us that by belonging to him we would escape the world's troubles. He does promise, however, to give us the means to remain firm in our faith, despite whatever else is going on. God is faithful and unchanging. By focusing on him, our faith is perfected. The dizzying circumstances of this world we live in no longer have the power to knock us off our feet as they would if we were without the influence of Christ in our lives.

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