Sunday, August 8, 2010

Locked Doors and Wobbly Handle Bars

Although my five-year-old rides her bike well on flat stretches, hills intimidate her.  I understand.  Wobbly handle bars and the fear of losing control are good reasons to want to stay safe and flat.

Funny, then, that she automatically looks toward a hill whenever we approach one.  Wherever her gaze goes, there also goes her bike.  In her desire to avoid a hill she fixates on it, and once her vision is set she inevitably steers in that direction.

The other day I hustled beside her as she pedaled.  As we approached a slope, she turned her head its way and began to veer toward it.  I called out, "Look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go."  She realigned her vision straight ahead and adjusted her path.

* * *
 
I often enter through a particular set of double doors.  One door is always locked; the other is always unlocked.  There's a sign on the locked door -- a large, bold sign -- that reads, "Please us other door."  Each time I walk through this entry, I instinctively reach toward the sign, push the handle of the locked door, and face resistance.  The sign is so large, so bold, that it draws me the wrong way every time.
 
One day a man walked behind me and witnessed this.  When I corrected myself and reached for the other handle, he smiled and commented, "The sign really should be on the other side.  It needs to be more positive, like, 'Use this door.'"
 
Good point.

How often do we look toward those things that we want and need to avoid?  Like my daughter staring down a hill, we fixate on our concerns and then head straight toward them mentally and emotionally.  Like me repeatedly reaching toward the wrong door, we let negative signs in our lives lead us in the wrong direction simply because they're prominent in our line of vision.
 
it's easy to let the wrong things direct our course once we've fixed our eyes on them.
 
I do this more often than I'd like to admit.  When I repeatedly play worries over in my mind, it's the worst type of mediation.  When I set my eyes on my concerns, there goes my heart, my thought patterns, and eventually, my life.
 
I'm working to retrain my eyes: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. 
 
I'm looking where I want to go, not where I don't.

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