Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Out of the Corner of My Eye

“But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” (MSG – James 1: 25)

I don’t know what your life is like, but lately I have definitely been acting like a distracted scatterbrain; and I don’t like it at all! So, when I read this passage of scripture this morning my interest was piqued. This verse tells me that if I catch a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God, even out of the corner of my eye, I am not a distracted scatterbrain but a woman of action.

As I began to ponder the verse, a couple of questions came to mind.

First, I must question, “What or more accurately who, is the revealed counsel of God.” I think that it would be safe to answer that one with one name: Jesus. Our Lord and Savior lived an earthly existence to provide us a glimpse into the heart and mind of God our Father, to set an example of how we should live our lives, and the sacrifice Jesus made through His shed blood, poured out at the foot of the cross paved the way for us to be redeemed of sin and to give us the hope of eternal life. (John 6:47)

What I find intriguing is that this verse doesn’t command that I must reach some goal or lofty religious pinnacle of success to gain the ‘free life.’ Rather, it states that all that is required is that I ‘catch a glimpse’ of Jesus. I like that! I am human. I fail. Often many times I fail before I can even begin to gain a small amount of ground in my quest to live life more as Jesus did. You see I really want to follow Jesus and live my life out loud for him, but I struggle with selfish desire and human weakness. I can relate to the apostle Paul when he wrote, “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:19 NIV)

What makes this verse even more powerful for me is the fact that I have very limited peripheral vision in my left eye due to a birth-defect. So, this verse provides me hope and assurance that when my heart and mind remain set on following the path of Jesus, I have already won the race for the free life. Yes, there will be times when I fall down as I run. Yes, there will be times when I become distracted by the things of this world. There will even be times when I hurt the cause of Christ by my selfish and sinful actions. However, as long as I sincerely desire the cross of Jesus to shine in my life, even a slight vision of Jesus out of the corner of my eye, will allow me to repent and quickly jump back on track and finish the race strong. Now that’s what I call, the power of God’s amazing grace.

The second question that this verse brought to my mind is this. “If I am truly no longer a ‘distracted scatterbrain but a woman of action,’ what actions should I be focused upon?” And, “If I focus on carrying out those actions, will I truly find ‘delight and affirmation’ by doing them?”

These are some really BIG thoughts for my little mind to ponder. For the next few days I intend to mull them over and allow my soul to steep in the thoughts that the Holy Spirit impresses upon me.

If this verse speaks to you, I invite you to put the kettle on and brew yourself up a big helping of reflective Jesus tea, and ask the Lord to reveal to you what action you should to be taking. I’ll come back in a few days and let you know what has been placed on my heart. If you are willing to take up the challenge and are willing to share your thoughts about this verse, please post a comment to share.

May God bless and enrich many coasts through this time!

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