The noise and screams suddenly coming from upstairs were cause for immediate panic.
My daughter had donned her jogging attire earlier that morning and set out to run a few miles on the treadmill we have in our home. Everything was going just fine… until the worst happened.
She lost her focus and her balance and stumbled, resulting in the treadmill violently throwing her off and trapping her in between the spinning mat, the tile floor and the wall. She managed to get free, but not before the treadmill had wreaked havoc on the skin on her back, legs and arms.
When tears dried and band aids had been gently placed over the raw wounds, I asked her how the accident happened and it turned out she had a lot going on besides just running. For example, a blaring television; incoming text messages which of course needed urgent attention; a loose shoelace which had been ignored; and fatigue in her legs.
There were a lot of distractions which eventually caused her to lose focus, stumble and fall, all the while feeling too weak to regain her balance. She has now vowed to never get back on another treadmill again. Ever.
Upon thinking more about this incident, I began to consider how what happened to my daughter is a lot like what happens in our Christian walk. We fully intend to stay focused on Christ every day, but life is full of distractions which cause us to lose our focus, stumble in our faith, and leave us feeling too beat down to get back on the right path.
We allow worry, anxiety, busyness, work, parenting, marriage and temptations (to name a few) to distract our hearts and we slowly begin to feel disconnected from God; side tracked from His ways and His Word, leaving us feeling weak and burdened.
It is a constant struggle to avoid letting the distractions of concerns and pulls of the world cause us to take our eyes off of Jesus. The reality is that while we are running through life, the enemy is working hard to distract us, hoping that we will lose focus and possibly fall so hard that we vow to never get back on track with God again.
Staying focused on walking in God’s ways is not easy. This is why Solomon boasts the importance of guarding our hearts and minds in Proverbs 4:23 where he says “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Then in verses 25-27, he says “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”
The state of our heart and the the things we are focusing on will guide and direct everything we do. When we aren’t diligent in staying focused on Christ in our everyday lives, we give the devil a foothold, which might possibly cause us to lose our footing, stumble and fall.
Yet when the divine Truths of God’s Word become the focal point of our lives, we are better equipped and more aware of how to handle distractions when they arise.
The truth is, we will all lose focus, stumble and fall every now and then. We may even get sidetracked for a while, and possibly even hurt. But what joy it brings to know that when that happens, God will always be there to pick us up, tend to our wounds, give us the courage to trust Him, and the strength to begin again.
Even when we get sidetracked, God will always help us find our way back if our eyes on focused on Him.