Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What Are You Staring At?

I saw this experiment done a few days ago, and it nearly blew me away.  Looking at the picture with the four snowflakes, allow your eyes to focus on a single snowflake.  Stare at that one snowflake for several seconds and watch what begins to happen to the other snowflakes. (You may need to click on the picture to enlarge it for this to work.)  They begin to fade, blink or even disappear altogether.  Is that cool or what?

Why does this happen?  Basically, our brains process the information sent to us by the eyes.  We see something, and the brain processes exactly what it is we're seeing and then determines what to do with that information.  Because of limited storage space; however, the brain doesn't retain all of the information that it records.  Sometimes, it has to decide what to keep and what to throw away.  (We are fearfully and wonderfully made!)  When we focus on a particular thing for an extended length of time, the brain assumes that everything else is unnecessary and will actually move the information to the trash bin.  So, while our eyes can still see four separate snowflakes, our minds have forgotten that the other three are there.  I find that completely fascinating!

I also find it frustratingly familiar but in a different sense.  How many times have I focused on my problems to the point that I nearly forgot about God altogether?  How many times have I become so captivated by my situation that God practically disappears from my life?  How many times have I stared at my trials then found myself asking, "Where did you go, God?"  Like the other three snowflakes, He's still there, but it's been so long since I've focused on Him that my brain has categorized Him as unnecessary.

Life is hard and sometimes unfair, and it is all too easy to get distracted by the many things that weigh us down day after day.  But we must be careful that we never take our eyes off the one, true answer to all of life's problems:  God!  Not only is He a problem-solver, but He is also a Father, a Friend, a Counselor, a Guide, a Comforter and so much more.  He is all that we need, yet so often, He is the one thing we leave out.  And after a while, we begin to wonder if He was ever here to begin with.

Look to Jesus today.  Don't take your eyes off Him for a moment.  Yes, the problems are big, but God is bigger.  Yes, the situation is tough, but God is tougher.  Sure, the battle is tiring, but God can give you strength.  Cling to Him.  Call to Him.  And think about this:  if God fades from view when we stare at our problems, what will happen to our problems when we stare at God? To borrow the words from an old hymn, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

So I ask you, what are you staring at?

I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. - Psalm 16:8

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