High School Days

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I have often looked for a place of immunity. “Where will I be safe?” Well, I found it! It is within the gaze of God. Does this mean I won’t be affected or hurt? Absolutely not! But what it does mean is that I will dwell in His presence, pleasure, and Will. This makes my life eternal rather than futile.  And this is precisely my choice. Do I want my life to amount to eternal reward and the pleasure of God, or momentary and fleeting earthly swag?

I was watching a show the other day, and one of the characters was dying of cancer and said to her dear friend, “One day none of this will matter.” Because of her imminent death, she had to prioritize her life.  All the fluff faded and the essentials rose like cream.

Immediately what I thought of was high school days. Almost the day after high school graduation, I realized, “Boy, that was completely futile.” All my energy, anguish, time, and life was given to something that ended the day I graduated. I was handed a diploma and the vision of three years of futile, nonsensical chasing.

What so-and-so thought meant nothing.
What I wore meant nothing.
What they said about me, meant nothing.
What I had hoped for was gone. 

This deceptively grand stage was just drama motivated by hormones. All my so-called “high school problems” vanished on graduation day.

I wonder if passing from this life into the next will not be a similar, yet more dramatic, transition. Will I die and see that most of the things I was chasing meant nothing?

So where do I choose to lay my passions now? Within the gaze of God! I am purposing to focus on what He is focused on, wherever that may be. I am choosing to look at Him, for this is how to access Him.

Protecting myself doesn’t work. If I fixate on problems, I empower them.  Gawking at evil exalts it to have power over us. Within God’s gaze is God’s Will, provision and protection.  So does this mean I ignore issues that arise like a Pollyanna?  Certainly not, the focus is upon Him and what He is looking at. Looking at God doesn’t mean looking away from this world.  It means gaining the privilege of looking at everything through His eyes.

So we do not focus 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 HCSB

Again this doesn’t preclude me from crisis, pain or even suffering.  No, sometimes it might even mean they increase in the moment.  But what I am saying is that God is able to supersede my crises, and deliver me on the other side with a greater knowledge of Him, enriching His and my relationship.

. . . let us strip off every weight that slows us down,
especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, 
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Hebrews12:1b-2a NLT

Comments:

Posted by Sam
June 22, 2013 at 7:43 am

Wow… thank you both John and those who shared in.

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Posted by John
June 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

WOW, your comments are each so rich. Thank you so much for sharing of your hearts and experiences!!

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Posted by Gaby
June 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm

For years I had been living with the theory: “Every good thing is from God, every bad from the enemy!” This is basically even right, but I misunderstood something: I lived like “Everything that I FEEL being good is from God,…”
This ended up in a mess as I rejected every bigger suffering as an “attack” and spent years in despair not understanding why He wouldn’t get me out! In other words I lived in complete rebellion without even understanding I did! This very ministry opened my eyes to the extent I refused to simply accept God being GOD! In a teaching somewhere Martha said something like “Did you ever realize that Job never dealt with the enemy but always with His God?” My God was in control over my suffering! Moreover He was in control WITHIN my suffering! And, yes, Vicki, He did not “come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with His presence.” Do you remember that wonderful quote from Paul Claudel you sent to me some time ago? It took me a long time to accept that He wouldn’t remove. Simply because He honors to a hurting extent the freedom of mankind, which brings mess into this world, even into nature, until that day when the “land will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord!”
But to eventually accept it, surrender, brought a surprising side effect: The leaving of fear!!! I didn’t expect that, but it is true! I am still not keen on suffering and on problems, and I have lots of that. But He is in there (whenever I get it:)! Yes, John, protecting myself didn’t work and doesn’t. But His protection works!
Finally this gives the freedom to have my focus on His business, as He anyway does care for mine. What is important? He knows!
Another quote says it beautifully, I have completely forgotten who the author is, but it puts it in a nutshell:
“Are the things you’re living for worth Christ dying for?”

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Posted by Tina
June 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

My search for emotional safety has been a huge trap and lie of the enemy in believing that I was suppose to find that within those who know God, instead of believing that God alone was able and enough. My thought has been that God will use someone to facilitate His healing as my terror to face my pain alone seemed insurmountable and impossible. Father forgive me for not believing that You are enough, that You are able to be a “very present help in a time of trouble”. I have forever chosen to deny my need and pain because it was too big for me and in the process the darkness only grew and got bigger and scarier when cracked open the door. The teachings of this ministry continue to help me on this journey.

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Posted by Vicki
June 21, 2013 at 9:13 am

“So does this mean I ignore issues that arise like a Pollyanna? Certainly not, the focus is upon Him and what He is looking at. Looking at God doesn’t mean looking away from this world. It means gaining the privilege of looking at everything through His eyes.” Oh John, mistakenly I have believed that to ‘focus’ on The Lord meant to ignore the trials and pains of this life almost as if they didn’t exist. As if by my choosing, they did not. Therefore, I perpetuated a lie. Your understanding has revealed the truth of His Presence in the experiences of life and His purpose of the privilege of ‘seeing’ as He does. A Wonder!

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    Posted by John
    June 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Oh Vicki I am coming to such a seeing of this. I feel like I am on the edge of seeing something so huge yet so simple. We have been sold such a bill of goods by a false gospel that says, “It is OK, there is no pain, no suffering and no trial when we get saved!” Such a twisting of a reality that itself is so gloriously God. Thank you again for getting it Vicki.

    Reply

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