What’s Your End in Mind?

Try this exercise. Take two sheets of newspaper opened in the center. Make a paper sword by rolling one corner tightly toward the opposite diagonal corner. You should now have a long tube. Bend 3-4″ of one end at a 90 degree angle to the rest of the tube, thus forming a small pedestal.

The test: Rest the tube’s pedestal in the palm of your hand. While focusing your eyes somewhere between your palm and the middle of the tube, try to balance the tube upright for two minutes. What happened? My tube wobbled back and forth like jello. I moved my hand constantly and shifted it six inches or more in any direction before the tube fell 60 seconds later.

Let’s try again. Only this time, train your eyes on the top point of the tube. What happened? Like my tube, was yours steadier? Did only slight hand adjustments keep it upright for two minutes?

What made hitting the goal easier with the second method? We focused on the top end of the tube, thus naturally making the right adjustments to balance the whole tube. The lesson, you ask? Let’s take a life-size example.

Korah was a Levite and one of the chief men among the Israelites exiting Egypt. But not chief enough from his perspective. Instead of concentrating on the end God had in mind by calling His children out of Egypt, Korah fixated on the “middle of the tube” — his personal status and desires. Korah wanted more power and position. So, in the middle of the desert, he instigated a rebellion and grumbled against Moses. Korah took a short-sighted view of circumstances, and his short-sightedness cost him his life. (Numbers 16:1-14)

I can have my Korah-moments, too, especially when I feel discounted or lacking kudos. I desire reward for effort and recognition. Or, in the middle of problems or challenges, I want them fixed and behind me immediately. Like the tube, when I mire down and focus on the middle of life’s circumstances, I wobble wildly from side to side and fall prey to frustrations, failures and defeat.

Yet, when I view situations from God’s perspective, then life and circumstances take on a different meaning. Barriers, pains and troubles become mere stepping-stones to develop a more Christ-like character and fulfillment of God’s eternal plan. “This is the direction in which all of history is focused. This is the moment toward which God’s plot is moving. The details, characters, antagonists, heroes, and subplots all arc in this direction.” (Max Lucado, God’s Story, Your Story p. 157) . This is His end in mind.

“Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ — that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” (Colossians 3:1-2, MSG)

©2011 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.

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About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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