I began the practice many years ago. Just before I go through TSA screening I drop my car keys safely and securely into my briefcase. To date, I can report that I have only misplaced my keys once and on that occasion they were hiding, I still do not know where in the depths of said case until I applied a vigorous shaking which dislodged them from their place of hiding. So my keys are never the problem. What I have found from time to time is that I can’t remember where I park my car! I’ve got the keys, but I’m looking in all the wrong places for my car. What’s really funny is when someone drops me off and my car isn’t even there and I’m traipsing from floor to floor pushing the buttons on my key fob when it dawns on me that I don’t even have a car there. I can report that in the last year or so I have resorted to taking a picture of the lot or garage sign to remind me. For the record I have never wandered more that 15-20 minutes. I think we can agree it’s time to seek help when you go over 30 minutes! Having a set of keys and no car reminds me of the malady of having an experience with Jesus and not having a focus on how to effectively follow Him. The keys alone won’t move you down the road of life, we need to have our eyes focused on the One who will get us down the road!
Oswald Chambers writes… “My vision of God is dependent upon the condition of my character. My character determines whether or not truth can even be revealed to me. Before I can say, ‘I saw the Lord,’ there must be something in my character that conforms to the likeness of God. Until I am born again and really begin to see the kingdom of God, I only see from the perspective of my own biases. What I need is God’s surgical procedure. His use of external circumstances to bring about internal purification.” Your priorities must be God first, God second, and God third, until your life is continually face to face with God and no one else is taken into account whatsoever. Your prayer will then be, “In all the world there is no one but You, dear God; there is no one but You.” The Hebrew writer says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Perhaps the most powerful aspect of vision is that it changes your way of thinking, which in turn changes the way you live.
It is said, an Olympic swimmer endures the long hours of staring at the bottom of a pool, day after day, because he is motivated by the vision of the gold to come. A mother endures the painful labor of childbirth because the vision of her newborn baby sustains her. And a four-year-old endures the struggle to be a very, very good boy for another two weeks because he is motivated by a vision of gifts under a Christmas tree. Focus keeps us going when there doesn’t appear to be any other reason to keep pushing forward toward the goal. Paul’s focus was clear…”but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Bill Hybels in his book, Who Are You When No One’s Looking, writes, It started like so many evenings. Mom and Dad at home and Jimmy playing after dinner. Mom and Dad were absorbed with jobs and did not notice the time. It was a full moon and some of the light seeped through the windows. Then Mom glanced at the clock. “Jimmy, it’s time to go to bed. Go up now and I’ll come and settle you later.” Unlike usual, Jimmy went straight upstairs to his room. An hour or so later his mother came up to check if all was well, and to her astonishment found that her son was staring quietly out of his window at the moonlit scenery. “What are you doing, Jimmy?” “I’m looking at the moon, Mommy.” “Well, it’s time to go to bed now.” As one reluctant boy settled down, he said, “Mommy, you know one day I’m going to walk on the moon.” Who could have known that the boy in whom the dream was planted that night would survive a near fatal motorbike crash which broke almost every bone in his body, and would bring to fruition this dream 32 years later when James Irwin stepped on the moon’s surface, just one of the 12 representatives of the human race to have done so? What are you gazing at in life, or better yet, do you have the keys to unlock the door? Most importantly, how are you getting down the road of life?
Tim Throckmorton is the former Executive Pastor of the Plymouth Heights Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace Ohio and the Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace, Ohio. He is currently the Senior Pastor at Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio.ReachReach