Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Watch What You're Doing

So yesterday you may have noticed I encouraged you to watch what you’re doing and this came from a salutary lesson I learned from what may appear an innocuous incident. Whilst walking along the pavement on the street where I can catch the bus from Stoke to Hanley, I noticed a woman struggling to get a ladder from a car. Merely watching her as I walked rather than offering assistance, I missed the step and walked off the relatively high kerb onto the road. It was a slip and it woke me out of the state was in to allow me to realise that I either help the lady and have done with it or move on and leave it. Either way, the point was to watch what I was doing.

When I watch what I’m doing there’ll be no room for slip ups. When I watch what I’m doing, I’ll know when to help, when to wait and when to move on. When I’m distracted and get caught up with other stuff, that’s when slip-ups happen. It’s particularly pertinent for this time as the pressure mounts and deadlines loom with things to be sorted. This is the environment specifically designed to see me flourish. In my element for this season as it were. Yet it is all too clear that this is not about plain sailing and serene, picturesque waltzing through issues, but about digging deep and keeping my eyes on Christ to shine in the circumstances. This of course happens when I pay careful attention to only fulfil the call Christ has given to me. That will suffice for my energies and will also sort stuff like giving to others.

All of that happens yesterday and then today as only God would have it, I read chapter 15 from my book of the moment Os Guinness’ The Call which is entitled What Is It To You. At this stage in his writing, Guinness is warning us of those things to be careful of in fulfilling the aforementioned Call, having dealt with the real killer in terms of pride he then moves onto envy. Here he shows how we’re likely to get the plot horribly wrong when we compare ourselves to others find ourselves lacking and then seek the downfall of the other as we are consumed with not being like the other.

That’s all about looking at the wrong thing and forgetting our focus should be on Christ and only then will things make sense. Only in the light of seeing the grace of God in action and realising how we are actually given a gift by the call itself will our eyes stop reverting to others or ourselves and we will be eager to please Him just by watching what we’re doing.

Where this really comes into its own is that the title of the chapter comes from some of the last words of Jesus speaks in the gospel according to John. Jesus is reinstating Peter and then issues a strong warning his direction before summing it up with the call that kicked things off in the first place ‘follow me’. Pete gets distracted looking at John and JC gives him a sharp rebuke to get his eyes on the one that matters. It’s a word that I found convicting last year when going through some personal challenges, and was a great reminder to me that it’s not about comparing myself to others or defining success by the standards of society but keeping my eyes on Christ. Watch what you’re doing and you won’t go wrong!

For His Name's Sake

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