Fixing Your Gaze
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
- 2 Corinthians 4:18
Have you ever tried balancing in a yoga pose with your eyes closed? If not, you might want to pause reading further and try it out. You might be surprised by how much harder it is to balance with your eyes closed. It's interesting how fixing our gaze on a focal point makes such a difference in helping our balance. In yoga, where we fix our gaze is essentially where we draw our focus. You may not realise it, but a lot of times when we turn our gaze to a certain direction, the position of our body follows. I remember first learning this in driving. “Keep your eyes on the road,” my driving instructor commanded. I didn’t realise that by looking at the pedestrian, I was steering towards him!! This phenomenon extends to other areas in our life as well.
I’m going to assume here that if you spend enough time on the Internet, you will have caught up on this era’s hype on “vision boards”, “vision casting” and “goal setting”. Don’t worry, Life Coaches, I’m not here to diss you guys .... in fact, quite the opposite (I’m a Millenial so I’m allowed to speak my mind out loud 🙄). Now the reason why these things work so well is because they allow facilitate the visualising of where you want to be. By having a vision and fixing your gaze on your end goal, you will have a natural inclination towards that direction of success. Being pointed in the right direction ignites motivation to pursue the goal. Easier said than done, of course. But it totally increases your chances of success.
Let me draw a very simple (and self-satisfying) example 😆: Suppose your ultimate holiday destination is Hawaii in a year’s time and finances were the biggest challenge. Every waking moment you spend visualising yourself sipping on coconut juice, lying on the beach and maybe looking pretty darn fine in that swimsuit you bought three summers ago. You’ll save on that morning coffee, keep tabs on holiday websites for discounts and maybe start working out for that “hot bod”.... I digress. My point is, whatever your dream goals are, your actions tend to follow.
Where do you fix your gaze? It is so easy to think of our earthly goals set right in front of us, yet the Bible tells us not to only focus on the earthly goals but eternal goals. You see, we can have great intentions and goals, e.g. volunteer at refugee shelters, start a business to create more jobs, become a health profession to save lives, yet if we do all these with our eyes fixed on the earthly returns of self-gratification, money, status etc., in any event of loss, we would be left empty and purposeless. Yet if we do the same things with our eyes set on Jesus as the reason of everything we do - we can be sure of the eternal value and living in a way that honours God! The attitude in which we work will be different because we know the return is reaped in heaven. We no longer seek self glory in the things we do because we can have an eternal perspective of all our work and toil on this earth.
I know I want to start a family and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that I want it NOW, or like, yesterday. Family is a beautiful gift from God and a blessing that He sets before us to desire but not being where I want to be right now often stirs up frustration and sometimes, irrational anger. Has creating a family become an idol in my life instead of a blessing? Sometimes we just need to learn to ask ourselves, "What is the eternal perspective of my current season in life?". "How do I bring glory to God in what He has currently given me?"
When we fix our gaze on the things that matter to God, everything we do on this earth will be a reflection of His will. Just like our practice on the yoga mat, you twist into poses and bring your gaze to the direction you want your body to turn towards, because you need to have your gaze set on the direction so that you body knows to follow. In the same way, Jesus is our compass and if we can have our eyes fixed on Him, our body and our actions will follow.
Take time to reflect on any areas of your life where you have let the earthly rewards become your main driving force. Maybe your relationship goals, career goals, or family goals are things that have frustrated you because it isn't the way you want it to be. How can you have an eternal perspective on everything you do? Do your relationships, work and everyday life work towards bringing glory to God?
With Grace and Strength,