Fixated

31 Aug

List

I am a list-maker.

Partly because my memory isn’t great, partly because I like to check off completed tasks. Mostly, though to clear my mind.

When I’m not able to write an idea down, my mind gets stuck. I fixate on that one thing and little else, because I’m afraid I will forget. Maybe I’m out there all by myself, but if I think of something I need to get at the store I’m going to, and I don’t tell Siri to make a note, I will either focus on that one thing so hard, which means I can’t daydream, or I will forget.

The forgetting part isn’t so bad (although it IS inconvenient), but the I-can’t-think-of-anything-else part frustrates me. I’m fairly certain that one of my spiritual gifts is daydreaming, thinking, and noticing… and then making new connections. I’m not sure what to call it. I don’t see it listed in 1 Cor 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, or 1 Peter 4. In any case, when there is one thing in my mind, I can’t move on and think about other, grander things.

The same thing happens in my spirit. When I get fixated on something, when I keep mulling something over in my heart, I get stuck there. I think God designed us this way on purpose. Because if we could carry it all in minds and souls with an infinite capacity, we wouldn’t need him.

He wants to carry the stuff that life throws at us.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Pet 5:6-7

He is made to carry the heavy stuff. We are not.

Why are casting and humble in the same verse?

Because not casting  my cares on him is pride. When we take on what only God is meant to carry, we are sinning. It’s a trust issue. If I continue to hold onto stuff, working over it, fretting, rehearsing, and dwelling on it, I am saying, “This is too big for you, God. I can figure it out with a better solution than you could, so until I do, I’ll just keep on carrying it.”

And we all know that sin blocks our relationship with God. Even if it didn’t, however, we’d still be stuck – fixated on something without the capacity to enjoy God and the life he gave us.

Relationship is where this passage is headed: “because he cares for you.” No power struggle. No lecture. Not even any talk about pride and sin. Just a loving Father caring for his child by carrying the heavy stuff, so our arms are free to throw around his neck and hear  the “I love you” he whispers in our ear as he pulls us close.

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READY FOR SUNDAY

I have heard it often said in church that we should leave our stuff at the back door before we come in to worship him. There’s some good in that idea, but what if instead, we brought all the stuff we carry into church and offered it up to him? This isn’t a logistical adjustment, it’s a heart issue of control and pride – which is essentially idolatry! Besides, if we don’t give it over to him, we will be sorely tempted (I used that word on purpose) to pick everything up again as we leave. That means we are changed in the presence of God as we worship him, only to go back to the way we were before. This isn’t the transformation promised by the Gospel!

So… those of us who lead others into the means of grace during worship, what are we fixated on? What has our heart? Are we carrying what God should be carrying?

Or are we humbly trusting and allowing him to have and inhabit our being so he can flow through us unhindered?

[L]et us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… Heb 12:1-2

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