A few years ago I had a fall from a horse and had to have an MRI scan on my knee. To have the scan you are required to lie on a table with your leg braced in a contraption to hold it very still. Then you are conveyed into a large domed machine, having first been fitted with earplugs and then headphones to protect your hearing.
This scan takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and the whole time you are not allowed to move. However the funny thing is the moment you are told not to move it’s exactly what you want to do. Suddenly you start to feel an itch under your braced knee, your toes wiggle involuntarily and you seriously want to sneeze. The more you try focusing on not moving that body part, the more intense the desire to move, scratch and wiggle becomes.
As I lay trying desperately to think of other things, I started to ponder on the fact that my scratchy knee and wiggly toes were primarily a product of my focus. I couldn’t do something and had to hold completely still, and so immediately I wanted to move everything.
In our everyday life we are often faced with similar challenges. We decide to eat healthier and forgo sugar and then suddenly everywhere we go we are offered cake, our favourite chocolate is on special and it seems we are bombarded by every sugary food advertisement on TV and social media. Whatever it is we are seeking to let go of or move away from so that we can move forward in an area of our life, is often the very thing that will try and negotiate to tempt us back again.
While lying in the MRI scanning machine I discovered that as I focused on talking to Jesus and contemplating all the good things He was doing in my life I completely forgot about the need to scratch my knee, wiggle my toes and sneeze. Actually before I knew it 15 minutes had passed by and the friendly technician was lifting my knee out of the scanning equipment and telling me I could sit up and leave. Not only had I been able to remain still as requested, I hadn’t even noticed the time and my previous desire to wiggle and scratch had disappeared.
Instead of trying not to do something or give up a habit, choose to fix your focus on Jesus. It’ll cause your thoughts, responses and attitudes to be directed towards Him so that everything else starts to fade away.
Focus on Jesus today and life will fall into its rightful place.
“My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.” (Proverbs 5:1-2)
“You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you are the one who makes all else fade away in the light of who you are. Please help me to set my heart and mind on you today. In Jesus name Amen