Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fix it

Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

My husband is an amazing fix-it guy. From broken toys to car engines, he repairs items ranging from the simple to the more complex. He's able to install electrical appliances, replace plumbing fixtures, lay tile floors, and pour concrete steps. In six of the houses in which we've lived, he's built a fantastic set of solid wood storage shelves, each designed to perfectly hold different size boxes of Christmas decorations, equipment and tools.

During our 28 years of marriage, I've come to appreciate several characteristics of Bob's work, whatever the project. First off, he's very attentive to the things around him. He notices when a lawn mower isn't cutting correctly and hears when a toilet isn't flushing properly. Secondly, he has the wonderful ability to step back and observe a situation. To make a repair, he studies how something works, or more often than not, doesn't work.

Bob dares to do something about a problem. When he realized that the firebox in our living room fireplace had rusted through, he had no fear picking up a sledge hammer and gutting the 50-year-old stone hearth. At the same time, he doesn't rush. Whether it's repairing the plastic leg of one of our daughter's Breyer horses or tearing out a plaster ceiling, he's willing to ask advice from those he trusts and dedicate an appropriate amount of time to care for each project. He is tenacious; his follow-through is admirable. Very seldom does he not finish a project that he starts.

The New Testament book of Hebrews is an intriguing and powerful work. While we don't know who wrote it, nor the precise location and identity of those who first received it, its message points us to the basics of Christian discipleship. Surrounded by heroes of faith (Hebrews 11), we're encouraged to consider Christ--the ultimate example of faith, its pioneer and perfecter. Why? So that in our walk we will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:3).

How does the fundamental teaching to fix our eyes on Jesus play out in the everyday-ness of our lives?

Fix means to direct or concentrate our eyes, attention and mind on something. It seems then that the first step is to examine the things that currently have our attention and influence our lives, as well as how we respond to them. Prayerfully consider the attitudes, activities and relationships that hold your interest. To whom and to what do you give priority? As you step back and observe each situation, does it align with the manner in which Jesus encourages us to live? If not, will you dare to do something about it? Change isn't easy and it isn't always immediate. It may require time, as well as trusted counsel and a deeper study of God's Word.

The writer of Hebrews knew that keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus was the only way we could make it successfully in our walk with Christ. Helen Lemmel captured this thought beautifully in the hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."

O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grown strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

Wherever you are, my friend, fix your eyes upon Jesus. He's tenacious. He's there with you all the way to ultimate victory in Him!

Blessings, dear friend.
Faithfully Following

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, words and music by Helen Lemmel, 1922

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