Fix your eyes upon Jesus, as the song says. Harder than it sounds. Instead, when the road gets rough, I tend to complain, sit down for a rest and look for sympathy. This is easier because surely Jesus, if I as much as glance in his direction, will just tell me to fix up and stop being a baby. I know I would if I were Him. Sometimes the road isn’t steep. Maybe I’ve just got a minor irritation to deal with, like a stone in my shoe. All the same, it’s still sound advice.
Recently a casual remark got into my shoe, as it were, and hobbled me for a while. It seemed to trigger other memories of real or imagined wrongs, so that by the end of the day I felt like a walking thundercloud just waiting for something, anything, to set off the storm. Not surprisingly I got a splitting headache to go with it. Good times all round.
The next morning I realised it was time to take the stone out of my shoe, to not let those words wound me any more. I knew that the person who said them was probably blissfully unaware, let alone agonising about them or wishing they’d kept their mouth shut. They were simply getting on with their lives. In order to do the same I needed to take action. So I decided to evict those words and all the self-pitying poison they generated from my mind, and to fix my eyes upon Jesus, like the song says. I asked forgiveness for the many stupid, thoughtless words I have said, particularly to this friend. I thanked him for all the amazing gifts and blessings of this friendship. It was easy after for this tiny, tiny incident to take its proper place, crushed somewhere on the floor underneath my shoe.
My headache, which had been nuzzling at me since I woke up, retreated to a dull thud. Over the next hour or so it went completely. I was feeling a bit silly for taking so long to get over it but then realised that actually this was a major victory. No disrespect to my family but we can sulk for decades over words spoken out of turn, so for me to 180 this thing in 24 hours was nothing short of miraculous. The road was neither rough nor steep. I just had to take the stone out of my shoe.
Thank you Jesus.