Cross-Eyed

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Like the widow tasked with filling empty vessels, we need to shut out distractions and stay focused on what is placed before us.

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. (Proverbs 4:25 ESV)

My dog, Mona, has an unsettling stare. She’s almost thirteen years old, and I’ve yet to decipher her disconcerting looks. Which you would think wouldn’t really matter . . . except that she sits on the end of our sectional facing me when I’m trying to work.

And she’s added a little twist in her old age. A low whine now accompanies her stare, ‘Mom I’m bored’. It’s a heartbreaking sound.

Now, as I’m not getting any younger, it’s hard for me to sometimes buckle down and git’er done. As a result, her looks and my slowing down is not a great combination. Because I know that if I nod at her and just say the word, ‘car’, I can instantly turn around her disposition. It’s so easy; we can simply jump in the car and enjoy a taste of freedom for a moment or two . . .

Which I do often.

The Word tells us that when we have a task to do, we are to set our eyes forward and stay focused. In my case, that means staring at my computer screen most days and not letting Mona lead me astray. But we do tend to look around, don’t we?

Often when the Lord places us somewhere, it doesn’t take long before we start to look around at what others are doing and start comparing our work.  There is always someone who appears to be producing more fruit . . . or having a better time.

But like widow tasked with filling the empty vessels, we need to shut out distractions and be focused on what is placed before us and not looking at what we’ve done or what’s left to do.

Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. (2 Kings 4:3-6 ESV)

Father, it is humbling that You choose to use us at all! Forgive us for being distracted and letting things pull us away from the tasks that You’ve called us to do. Help us to be obedient and thankful for the work You’ve given us. May we find joy in obedience and fruitfulness! Amen!

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