Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Dogs-eye-view!

I recently read a book by Garth Stein titled The Art of Racing in the Rain. It’s a narrative from a dogs-eye-point-of-view with the overarching theme being “the car goes where the eyes go.” I’m oversimplifying it of course but it made for a fascinating and intriguing read. I’m not sure what Garth’s worldview is, and if I’m being honest, his afterword would seem to indicate some kind of New Age or eastern mystic philosophy. In case you’re instantly turned off by this I want to clarify that I’m not advocating some kind of Manichean or dualistic worldview, I do however think that Garth’s book is a great read and highly recommend it. But I digress…

I can relate to the idea that the car goes where the eyes go because I’ve literally experienced this truth. I owned a Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide, and if you know anything about motorcycles you’ll know that this is a heavy beast of a machine. Even for being a big guy, I sometimes found it difficult to maneuver, that is until I took a riding lesson with the local Police Department. My instructor informed me that if I’m trying to turn the bike in as small an arc as possible, instead of looking at the front wheel or at the ground beside me I needed to concentrate on a point across from me that I wanted the wheel to turn toward. Amazingly it worked! I found that I could maneuver my bike in some of the smallest spaces possible with no fear of toppling over. My bike went where I was looking!!

This theme is applicable to life too. Our attitude largely determines our “altitude.” Now don’t misunderstand me to be propagating some mind over matter mumbo jumbo, as all I’m suggesting is that if we keep our eyes on our circumstances and problems, we’ll find ourselves succumbing to them. However, the Scriptures clearly advocate that God is not surprised by our struggles, and promises that if we keep our focus on Him even when the storms of life loom large and threaten to toss us into the raging seas, He will deliver us. There are ample stories in the Bible that support this truth. Our attitude toward the storms of life will determine whether we stay on course or drift asunder. So, just like in the art of racing, our life goes where our eyes go. What are you looking at?