Losing Sight Series: Symptoms of “I” strain.

(This is part two in a series about when we lose sight of God.)

How do we lose sight of Jesus or his plan for our lives? We’ve all no doubt experienced at least temporary blindness.101_9341

When I read the scriptures, I am astounded that even those closest to Jesus, those that walked, lived and ate with him…even lost sight of him.

The story of Mary and Martha recounted in the book of Luke chapter 10 speaks of one sister being caught up in details, losing sight of her Savior while the other sister sat eagerly as His feet. Jesus said to Mary Luke 10:41/42

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

What are some of the symptoms that we are entering into tunnel vision where we are focused more on “I” than on HIM.

JOYLESSNESS:  Are we losing joy in our noble pursuits? Martha was stressed. Jesus didn’t say that Martha was distracted by Pinterest or Facebook (zing!) He said, “with much serving”. We need to be mindful that even good and Godly things can become a distraction if we take our eyes of Jesus. When joy seeps out of service we need to ask ourselves some questions. Do our efforts cause stress for us or those we love? More importantly…do our noble efforts replace our relationship with our Creator?time clock

FRUSTRATION: When we begin to question God’s identity in the middle of a crisis, it is a symptom that we are losing sight of who He says He is. When we think Jesus doesn’t care about what we are going through, we need to rediscover who God is.  Martha actually told Jesus to tell Mary to help. She said, “Don’t you care that she’s left me to do all this alone?”. Martha legit thought that Jesus didn’t care about her stress or her feelings. When we sense that God no longer cares about us, we’ve lost sight of Him.

OVERWHELMED: Are we drowning in details or despair? Do we feel that there is not enough room to breathe or enough hours in the day? Martha felt there was not time to get everything done before Jesus arrived. When we feel overwhelmed by doing, we need to stop and reconsider what God has actually told us to do. Has God provided someone to do that task or help with it? Have we recognized that helper or have we insisted on doing it ourselves, our way? When we struggle with the pressure of getting it all done, we’ve lost sight of God’s plan for us.

100_4946ISOLATION: Have you ever felt totally alone or utterly abandoned? When those feelings become your focus, it’s likely that you’ve lost sight of the God that will never leave or forsake you.  Loneliness and despair that sucks your life out is a result of distance or separation between you and your Creator. Some soul searching often reveals – we are the one who moved…God is where he’s always been.

SILENCE: Do you ever feel like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Sometimes our prayer life feels like a one-way conversation. Are we guilty of telling God what we are doing and ask for his blessings? Are we all talk…and no listen? (zing!) When we are no longer hearing from God, chances are we quit listening. The silence is often a symptom of us losing sight of Jesus.

If we are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is time for a check up.  Most likely the diagnosis is distance and temporary blindness. Next week we will explore the causes “I” strain and the following blog will address the remedy!

POINT TO PONDER: Are you experiencing any of the symptoms of “I” strain? Have you perhaps lost sight of who holds the keys to your heart or the Light unto your path? What remedy do you seek? We’d love to see your comments here at kissedbythecreator!
Catch us Monday thru Friday at 6:30am EST for #HOPEscope on www.periscope.tv Look for Connie P. Shoemaker or kissedbycreator we are going through the book of John!

 

Messenger of the King (Frodo of Fact and Fiction)

Why is it so easy to be a “writer” at a Writers Conference? Oy. I spent another super week in the company of gifted and obedient writers, speakers, teachers, publishers, agents and others. Truly a remarkable gathering of talent in one place.
Writers Conferences are not only places for connections but for inspiration as well. The Montrose Christian Writers Conference delivers both immeasurably. One of my favorite times is morning meditation where I journal and pray with a focus toward using my gifts and my ministry. The ministry of writing and yes –according to several of the speakers – it is a ministry.

 
While in prayer during the week, the phrase “Messenger of the King” , kept popping up in my thoughts and in my journal. Ironically or perhaps not, my family and I recently watched the third Lord of the Rings Movie ‘Return of the King’. JR Tolkien crafted a story about a hobbit named Frodo who came to possess a ring bringing the bearer a great burden. I thought about being a writer as I mulled ”Messenger of the King”. 

 

Most of what I write is truly about at Kissed by the Creator reflects the King of Kings. I weave his message and power into everyday life lessons. So consequently I am a ‘Messenger of the King’. But how often does the message get from idea to concept to being published? Sometimes we fall short in getting the message out there.

 
Like Frodo, you come into something brilliant and shiny. Your treasure is a new idea. A gift you believe from God. And like the hobbit with the ring you treat it tenderly you turn it over and examine it and ponder the precious possibilities of this glistening treasure.

 
Time passes, words are jotted and like the bearer of the ring, this idea begins to wear you down and become an obsession. Its put away and taken out and mulled over and over until you see the words in your sleep. Its power, potential and meaning become elusive.

 
In “Return of the King” the burden of the ring became so heavy it almost cost Frodo his special relationship with his best friend Samwise Gamgee and his life. At one point Frodo, believing a lie, lashes out at his companion Sam and sends him home.

 
We dare not cut off relationships with those that encourage us the most. As writers we all need a Samwise Gamgee, someone who comes along side of us when no one else will. A person who speaks life into us and our projects and doesn’t let us down. True to his calling Sam follows Frodo from a distance and is there to literally pick him up when he was completely spent. Sam says, “ I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.” And with that he takes Frodo to the edge of the abyss where he must complete that which he was called to do.

 
Are you standing on the edge of the abyss? Is your once glistening project becoming a tarnished burden that you feel unable to carry? If so, connecting with other writers could be the answer for seeing you to the finish. If you feel burdened and stuck by something God has given you to do. Pray for an encourager to come and hold you accountable to finishing that which you are called to do.

 
As Christian writers our mission is to deliver either the gospel itself or the hope of the King. Even if our prose is not dotted with scripture, the content should point readers to the light. Being a messenger can be burdensome but it is an honorable charge. Executing well is crucial to being obedient to the King. I pray for those struggling. I pray God would bring encouragement to you as you use your gifts to HIS glory!
 

(Partial content of this commentary is used in “Empowering Tools for Writers” a workshop topic for conference beginners)

 

Point to Ponder: What was the most encouraging thing anyone has done for you with regard to your writing?

%d bloggers like this: