Category Archive: Perspective

LEAN

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

The game was close, the players intense. Suddenly a Viking went down, the ball spiraling out of his hands. A Saint picked it up and, in the melee around the player on the ground, ran a clean run into the end zone for a TD! Wow, no obstacles in his way. He grabbed the opportunity and ran with it, literally!

That TD was taken away from the Saints because the knee of the Viking who initially carried the ball was on the ground before the ball left his hands, taking it out of play.

Nevertheless, I was impressed with the Saint who took advantage of the opportunity at hand.

How often do we take advantage of such opportunities to live or share our faith? When a ball is fumbled, do we grab it and run with it, regardless of the outcome?

And what about when I’m the one doing the fumbling? Irritable, moody, feeling overwhelmed with the day to day tasks of life? Do I look for ways to work through those feelings or allow them to overtake and overrun me?

Two of my grandnephews, one ‘leaning’ on the other – a picture of how I’ve felt this week!

In my last post I wrote about looking for my word for the year. I thought it might be GAZE – to gaze on my God and take in His presence, His peace, His character. I’ve tweaked it a bit, to LEAN. I choose to lean on, and into, Jesus in the ups and downs and sleepless nights and writing pressures and joys and challenges that make up the patterns of my life. So if you see me grouchy, out of sorts, or needing encouragement, feel free to remind me to LEAN.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Ephesians 5:15-17

Resolutions?

Someone said yesterday, “If you never make a resolution, you won’t break it.” True … so what do you do for New Year’s?

Make resolutions? (and if you do, how long do they last?)

Choose a scripture, or a word, for the year? (Like “courage,” “wait,” “rest,” or “kind.”)

I haven’t made specific resolutions in years, knowing they are often made on a whim–lose weight, spend more time with God, travel more, say yes to less–and don’t have the spiritual or emotional muscle to continue as real goals or objectives that are attainable and measurable.

But this year I’m thinking of choosing a word.

Praying, listening for what that word might be. Where do I need to focus? What word might God put on my heart to hold my attention?

I love what I read in Sarah Young’s JESUS TODAY:

Gaze at Me; glance at problems–this is the secret of living victoriously. Your tendency is to gaze at problems for prolonged periods of time, glancing at Me for help. This is natural for someone with a fallen mind living in a fallen world…

…Ask My Spirit to help you fix your gaze on Me. Invite Him to alert you whenever you get overly focused on problems so you can redirect your attention to Me. This is hard work, because it is not only unnatural but also counter-cultural…Ask Him to help you deal with difficulties as needed, while reserving the bulk of your attention for Me–your constant Companion.”

Jesus Today, p. 58

Maybe “Gaze” will be my word. Not sure yet. But I need to do this in deeper ways as I tend to get frustrated easily, discouraged readily. I need to gaze at Jesus, rely on Him in new ways, allow His Spirit to work through me. I’ll keep you posted.

Do you have a word for the year? Would you share it with me?

Blessings!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

Through a Glass, Darkly

Driving along one of our California freeways, I looked at the mountain and saw the fortress-looking building atop Mount Umunhum in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. This former Radar Tower was once a key part of the west coast’s air defense system. The tall, square cement building looks immovable, impenetrable, a lone sentry with nothing visible to the naked eye to minimize its impact on the visible landscape.

Two years ago Don, my mother and I drove to Umunhum. The winding road was beautiful, twisty, interesting. About half a mile from the top of the mountain the line of cars came to a halt. We thought that by driving up on Thanksgiving Day there would be little traffic. Evidently others had the same idea.

With only 50 parking spaces at the top, there was quite a wait for cars to leave. Mom and I needed to use the facilities. I thought about walking up the last distance but the twisty road prevented us from seeing how far it was, and I didn’t know how far Mom could walk. So we waited.

We crept to the top where, finally, a handicapped spot opened. We pulled into it, placing Mom’s card on the dash. There was that big, square cement structure. But now it had shrubs and trees and brush around it, a display board, restroom, outbuildings and walking paths.

What a change in perspective–from seeing a stark building against the sky, to being next to that bulky tower, seeing the life and buildings on the same mountaintop and a 360-degree view of the Santa Clara Valley.

How often is my perspective warped because of the angle I’m looking at, the preconceived notions through which I’m viewing a situation, or my own biases?

This beautiful old hymn expresses the desire of my heart:

Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.

Open my ears, that I may hear
voices of truth thou sendest clear;
and while the wavenotes fall on my ear,
everything false will disappear.

Open my mouth, and let me bear
gladly the warm truth everywhere;
open my heart and let me prepare
love with thy children thus to share.

Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

I want to see clearly. How about you?

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

I Corinthians 13:12 NKJV