What’s Your Focus?

28 09 2013

{I searched and searched for the original post I read last weekend. There were so many, and I am unable to find it. If this is your story, please let me know and I’ll reblog yours and delete mine!}

One Sunday a pastor wanted to help his congregation gain perspective on their trials and suffering.

What prompted his desire? Had he, himself, become temporarily overwhelmed with the issues he knew his flock faced? As he looked into their eyes from the pulpit, could he see the pain, sorrow, anger, or confusion in their eyes and their demeanor? This I do not know.

What I do know is that there was a need to reach them in a meaningful way and encourage them.

I know this, because God inspired this pastor with the perfect object lesson; one that would stick with them for life.

Here is what he did:

From under the pulpit, he pulled a roll of masking tape. Then he called for a few volunteers.

He picked at the roll of tape until the end came free, and indicated for one of the assistants to take hold of it and walk to the back of the church.

The roll spun in the pastor’s hand, slowly growing smaller.

Meanwhile the other assistants pulled chairs into the center aisle of the church so the tape had something to rest on.

When the tape was stretched from the pulpit to the entrance to the sanctuary, he instructed his congregants to take a pen, make a dot on the tape, write their name on it, and then be seated again.

He proceeded to talk about our trials, our losses, our struggles, our fears, and our pain.

Jesus said that we would have trouble in this world. That’s a given. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t make us immune to trials…in fact, it ensures them.

James 1 tells us the purpose of the trials Jesus allows in our life. it is this:

The testing of your faith!

Every trial reveals who or what our faith is in. If it is anything other than Jesus, this will be revealed, and can then be adjusted. It’s part of our spiritual maturing process, and necessary to develop strong believers.

Then he turned everyone’s attention back to the tape, now dotted and labeled with each person’s name.

“This tape here represents eternity. Imagine that it stretches out into the parking lot and beyond…unending. Now look at your mark. That represents your life on earth. When you see it from this perspective, things shrink.

“Every pain, every harsh word you’ve ever received, every bit of abuse, every financial problem, every relationship struggle, every disease, illness, injury, heartbreak, loss – every thing that seems so huge and overwhelming to you today exists on that dot you made.

“There is a day coming, dear brothers and sisters, when your existence on that dot will be over…and so will everything that troubles you!

“We will all step through the veil between mortality and life (2 Corinthians 4:17). The trials and tests will have completed their work and we will leave them behind…forever!

“My question to you is this:

“Are you living for the dot?

Or the line?”

This pastor’s post included a photograph of a bit of tape that had his dot and his name on it. He tore it from the line of tape and kept it in his wallet until it fell to pieces as a reminder of how short this life is in light of eternity. I think I’ll follow his example. A visual reminder is helpful when times are tough.It’s easier to get through our painful todays when we keep our focus on eternity.

Contrary to the lie Satan has circulating, the truth of the matter is this:

You can’t be of any earthly good

until

you are heavenly minded.

Get a proper perspective on eternity, and watch your dot, with all its issues, shrink!

(Thank you, dear pastor for this illustration. I’ll continue to search for your post, for I didn’t begin to do your story justice!)

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11 responses

28 09 2013
dianarasmussen

You help me see the big picture girl – love it!

28 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

Still looking for the author…anyone??? 🙂

\o/

28 09 2013
Heidi Viars

what a beautiful illustration and a great reminder to stay focused on what is for sure … eternity with our Father

28 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

I thought this was a fantastic illustration. I think I’m going to put a dot and my name on a piece of tape and keep it where I can see it. I need this perspective myself!

\o/

28 09 2013
findingmyinnercourage

Excellent Blog my friend! Your context is amazing!

28 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

I thought this was a great illustration, too. 🙂

\o/

28 09 2013
findingmyinnercourage

Definitely a great illustration!

28 09 2013
Timothy Murray

Great post! Perspective is an amazing thing!

28 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

This makes me see my “big” problems in their true light…not all that big in the grand scheme of things!

\o/

28 09 2013
Michael

I like the illustration because it correctly expresses how time, in a biblical view, is linear, not circular. This is all headed to a particular destination (that is in God himself.) It really puts things in perspective. May all I do be for the glory of God.

28 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

I picture the other far end of the tape as being connected to His throne!

Thanks for the comment. 🙂

\o/

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