Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tunnel Vision

For some reason or another when I used to play basketball quite a bit I was often confronted with a problem: tunnel vision. Now I didn't have an actual medical condition that only exhibited itself when I played my favorite sport, but I did have a problem. As the action progressed and my heart pumped in excitement I noticed that I often had difficulty perceiving anything outside of my immediate gaze. This caused problems as you can imagine. Occasionally open teammates were unnoticed and even more often I was unaware of the opposing players' advancement. This meant my dribbling skills did very little for me when someone came out of nowhere to pop the ball out of my hands.

I used to be frustrated very much by this condition of tunnel vision. Granted it didn't happen all the time and often I was able to keep a watchful eye on my would be assailants. However it certainly happened more than I desired so I began to give it some thought. You see it often happened when I was overly excited and the outcome of my actions were more influential on the result of the game. It often happened when I was not alerting myself to my surroundings and it often happened when I wasn't looking at the big picture.The end result of my dilemma was that when it happened it severely inhibited the success of my team. In fact the old adage of keeping your eye on the ball could easily have been my undoing as I should have been surveying the entire court.

Do we survey the entire court when we play the game of life? Scripture teaches us that a man plans his way but the Lord directs His steps. As we glance around and take in the incoming information of life do we absorb more than just what is immediately in front of us or do we approach life with perspective? It is especially important that we approach life with a bird's eye view or with all the facts. Otherwise we may be taken off guard when the devil approaches us from our blind side. And we all have them don't we?

All scripture is inspired by God. That means that the verse before the one you're reading is also inspired, just as the one after it. The path of heaven may be narrow, but those that find it will not have narrow minds but thoughts that are broad and deep like the God that inspires them.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fighting Blind

Most Christians realize that they are engaged in a battle. Too often however they are fighting the wrong people and the wrong things. Striking out in frustration we beat against the wind and we bemoan our circumstances. If only life weren't so hard we'd be able to accomplish all that the Lord wants us too. If only we knew what was going on behind the curtain we'd be able to fight the good fight.

The problem with this thinking of course is that it implies God should reveal to us the inner workings of the spiritual warfare all around us. We believe that if we could only see why bad things happen we would be able to step forward. What we forget is that if God did this He would remove the very reason why we have a fighting chance at all: faith.

We now know in part and occasionally the curtain is drawn back part of the way for a select few among us. However God does not practice this type of revelation for our own good. The devil was privy to the glories of heaven and yet He remained stalwart in His accusations against God.

Perhaps the next time when we yearn for a clearer picture of the spiritual battles being fought all around us we will thank God for His mercy. He allows us to know only what we can handle. By shielding us from the front lines of spiritual war God is sparing us from squandering any evidence.

With all of the corporate scandals erupting in the financial world I am sure that many a disgraced employee wished he could have remained unaware of the poor decisions. With greater knowledge comes greater responsibility. In the same way that God does not tempt us beyond what we are able He does not burden us with knowledge we are not prepared to handle. Sometimes it's just better to fight blindly.