If you are already familiar with what spotting is, bear with me as I summarize it for those that are unfamiliar with it. Dancers are taught to find a focal point. As they are spinning, they maintain their focus on that point as long as possible in the spin and then whip their head around quickly to regain it as soon as possible after losing it. If they don’t focus on anything and simply see everything whizzing by as they spin, they’d end up in a heap on the floor, much as I would if I spin in my office chair too long and attempt to walk. 😉
Also important is finding a focal point that doesn’t change. Imagine if they were focusing on someone in the audience and then that person got up to go to the bathroom or take a phone call. They have lost their focal point, and dizziness, and perhaps a wobble or a fall are the result. The focus maintained on that constant focal point allows them to spin to their heart’s content without fear of dizziness or falling. I don’t know how long it takes to master this ability, but it’s not instant. It requires lots of practice, lots of failures, and then ultimately, mastery.
So why the lesson in spotting? Because it extrapolates out well to the Christian life. There are times when life is metaphorically spinning us around and around until we fall in a heap on the floor, nauseated and unable to see straight, much less walk straight. It could be a medical diagnosis that throws us into a spin. A struggling relationship. Financial difficulties. Extreme grief. Loneliness. Mental illness. Rejection. A traumatic experience. The trials that spin us around are different for every one of us, but the prescription is the same. Spotting.
We need to keep our focus on truth. Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life…” When we are seeking out truth, we can find it in the pages of the Bible. There’s comfort within its pages for whatever spin we find ourselves in. Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (NIV) You cannot keep your mind “stayed” or focused on God if you are not in His Word, seeking His peace, His wisdom, His counsel.
It’s in His Word that we learn we are fully known and yet fully loved. We learn that we do not have to pay the price for our sins, because Jesus paid it for us. We learn that we do not have to fear the future, because God can see it, and nothing will catch Him by surprise. We also learn that those hard things we endure are not pointless. Romans 8:28 tells us that for the born-again believer, ALL things work together for our good. Not all things are good, believe me, I know this so much deeper than I ever wanted to. But there is a purpose in EVERY single thing we go through, and none of it is to harm or hurt us.
As a parent, we can understand this to a degree. Having to hold a child for a shot and listen to their cries is heartbreaking. But we know that what’s in that shot is for their good. If we, being flawed and sinful as we are, love our children enough to allow them a moment of suffering because it’s for their long-term benefit, how much more faithful is our loving God to ensure that each moment of suffering is only what’s necessary to bring about a good, intended result?
Ultimately, whether we experience peace in the midst of our trials and storms boils down to our answer to a very basic question. Is God good? The answer to this question determines our focal point. We can either focus on His goodness, and trust that He is with us through whatever we’re facing, or we can look on our trial and end up on the floor unable to focus on anything else. My prayer is that you would know He is good. He can be trusted. He will NEVER leave you. He is our best source of comfort through every situation. Keep your mind, your heart, and your eyes focused on Him.
"In fierce storms," said an old seaman, "we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there." This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way.
Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there. You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may--winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers--no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus. --Richard Fuller