February 5, 2010
What Are You Looking At?
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Editor
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
In "a previous life" and in a different job, I worked in a bull-pen situation.
For those of you who have not experienced this type of work environment, imagine this if you will: A narrow room of maybe 100 x 300 feet. Four or five windows along the length of one wall (so plenty of natural light, thankfully). Exposed brick. Hardwood floors. High ceilings. Open-concept layout with desks for about up to 10 people.
Employees hollered across the room at one another to relay information, instead of phoning or instant-messaging. And most of the time, we would all just roll our office chairs across the floor to make our way from desk to desk.
Add in 10+ hour work days, music blaring (at each work station), phones ringing, keyboards click-clacking, voices chatting, a disco ball (literally) that came out after dusk ... and well, you get the picture. Crazy as it were.
This was my life for about a year or so. But somehow, I learned to focus and get my job done despite all of the distractions. Looking back, I have no idea how I did it. I even did some writing while in this type of environment! Go figure. Most people require peace and quiet so that they may collect their thoughts and let the creativity flow uninterrupted. But in my situation, I had no choice. It was sink or swim.
Thankfully (and as fun as they actually could be at times), those circumstances were only temporary and didn't last long. Nowadays, I have my own office again and am able to get my work done in a relatively calm environment. But you know what? I have trouble focusing!
Unbelievable, I know. But when I do a little personal inventory to figure out what's distracting me, I see that it's internal. It's all in my mind!
There's no one rolling past me in their chairs. No phones ringing or loud music playing. The only noise is in my head. Life issues, mostly. In fact, I just made a list of 10 things that are distracting me right now and feel like they are sweeping over my life. They all seem to be crashing in and keeping me from the task at hand. They are "demanding" my attention and my natural response is to drop what I'm doing. To worry. To grow anxious.
Much like the disciples did when a storm overtook them in the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:23-27), I am not putting my faith in the Lord. "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Jesus asked the disciples. I must ask myself the same question today. If God has power over all of nature, doesn't he also have control over all of the elements affecting my life? A thousand times yes!
"What kind of man is this?" asked the disciples after Jesus calmed the storm. "Even the winds and the waves obey him!"
No matter what we see overtaking our lives today, let's resolve to put our faith and our focus in what is unseen: the Lord of all creation, the Almighty God.
Intersecting Faith & Life: What are you looking at today? Are temporal things distracting you? Make a list of everything that has got your mind tied up in knots. Pray through these items and ask the Lord to help you not be overwhelmed by what you see and to fix your eyes on what is eternal. Know that he has a plan and purpose for your life and is always working, even when you can't see what he's doing.