I was blessed and burdened with an overly analytical mind. I think through as many possibilities for a situation as I can. Then I follow each out a period of time, sometimes years. The problem with that is a lot, if not most, of the time it causes me to hesitate when making decisions that normal people would just make or that need to be made. I have missed opportunities for friendships, careers and relocation due to the storms raging in my mind. Fortunately, I have an anchor that ties me down to the present and over the years I have learned to rely on that anchor. Sometimes I will let a little more slack in the line but He always pulls me back in.
There was a notable figure in the Bible that had his eyes on the prize and knew what he had to do to get there. He was not sure what the end result would be but he knew he had to trust. I’m talking about Peter when he took the initial step of faith and then lost his trust.
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. – Matthew 14:28-32 (ESV)
Jesus has calls us to “Come” but if you are like Peter and many other Christians, including myself, you tend to lose sight of the goal. You let your mind wander to all the things that could go wrong instead of the eternal greatness Christ has in store. We often neglect the fact that Peter too walked on water, that is until he began to doubt. This is important because it adds to the evidence that through Christ anything is possible, and if you are as analytical as myself you need all the reminders you can get.
I’ve listed some ways to keep your “eyes on the prize” so to speak below that have helped me.
- Keep Him close. As John 1:1 (ESV) says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Read the Word and guard it in your heart.
- Fellowship with other believers. Use their past experiences to help you grow and yours to help them.
- Pray, pray and pray. It’s no coincidence that my two favorite verses are about prayer. Romans 12:12 (ESV) “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” and Philippians 4:6 (ESV) “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.:
Whether you are braving a stormy sea, a whirlwind in your mind or chaos in life, just remember to trust and focus. You my fall below the surface but that hand will be there to keep you from falling too far. You will get in the boat and the wind will cease but first you have to trust and start heading for His boat and not your own raft.