Summertime. At our house summer is defined by sunscreen, beach towels, noodles, goggles and of course swimming. It is a rare day when my kids are not in the pool. Not long ago my daughter stood by the patio door looking outside at the sparkling blue pool. She reached up for the handle and started to slide open the door.
“Not now, we have to wait until later”, I told her. She knows she is not allowed outside alone, but here we were again . . . another day, another line in the sand, another opportunity to learn.
She dropped her hand, but stood rooted in place gazing outside. “Just look”, she said . . . and that’s what she did for about five seconds . . . until her little hand reached up again as if drawn by an unseen magnetic current.
“You have to stay inside”, I reminded her.
“Just look”, she said again. Sure enough, a few seconds later she lifted her hand up to the handle and started to push the door open. At that point I had to take her by the hand, move her away from the door and distract her with something else. Once she gets something in her head she is bound and determined to pursue it.
After a fairly minor temper tantrum, I distracted her with a puzzle and at least for a while, the pool was forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind they say. There is definitely something to that. Later we did go swimming, but she had to wait for my timing, not hers.
It seems that there are some things we never quite grow out of. How many times have I allowed my focus to stray away from God to something else? It may be something I am worried about or something I really want, maybe even something that He has told me must wait and yet, my eyes continually stray. I am “just looking”, but looking is only the first step. It seems it is almost impossible to just look.
Unfortunately, the eyes of man are never satisfied. It is human nature to want what we can’t have and so, we look. When we look with the eyes of our hearts it is easy to allow something else to steal God’s rightful place. Sometimes we allow concerns and worries to dominate our thoughts, sometimes desires. Anything that we choose to dwell on can quickly dislodge God from the throne of our heart.
As I walk through another day parenting my daughter I find that once again God is using her to teach me. What things have I allowed myself to “just look” at? What do I need to do to walk away from those things instead of allowing them a dominate place in my thoughts? I pray that God will take me by the hand and lead me away from temporal things and instead draw me ever closer to Him.
“These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matt. 6: 32-33 NLT