A wise man once told my son, “Matt, if you take off in an airplane going from Houston to LA – and you’re just two degrees off course – you won’t land anywhere near LA.”
He went on to explain, “As a pilot, it’s impossible to stay exactly on course. The important thing is to be able to use your instruments – and trust the experts in your headset – and then course correct when they tell you you’ve begun to get off track.”
Life is a journey; how do we know when to course correct? What gauges are on our instrument panel and who is talking to us in our headset?
Doug and I often find ourselves in unchartered territory, wondering if we’re lost — or about to explore a new and grand horizon. One question helps guide our choices; we look at this question from three different perspectives. You may find this question helpful, too.
The big question is: “What’s my motive?”
The three perspectives are: two trees, two roads, and two targets.
The two trees are LOVE or FEAR. The motive for all thoughts and behavior choices is one of these two emotions; brain science confirms, there is no gray area that is a combination of the two. Ask this question: Am I going this direction out of love or fear?
The two roads are PLEASING GOD or TRUSTING GOD. As a believer, the primary motive of my behavior will be either trying to earn God’s approval, or trusting who He says I am – and then living out of the new nature that is mine because I trust Jesus. I will perform for acceptance unless I trust “on my worst day” I already have God’s approval, because I am Christ in me.
The two targets are MATURITY or PERFORMANCE. When my motive is performance, I am “me focused.” I strive to be better than you; it matters to me that I am ahead of you – in line, on the road, or keeping score in our relationship. When my motive is maturity, abiding in God’s love is my focus; so is loving you. I serve you and care for your needs because it’s important that you trust me; I want you to mature, too.
This blog post is the first in a four part series; I’ll elaborate more on each of these three perspectives in the following three posts.
If you’re curious, the GOOD STUFF page on this site offers generous information about the healing effect of love – and the real brain damage caused by fear. The John Lynch YouTube video on this page is the source of the “Two Roads” perspective.
One other idea to ponder: Will I trust course correction when I receive it?
Doug came home one day and I had drawn a large circle on the dry erase board in our dining room (yes, we really had a dry-erase board in our dining room!); inside the circle was this question: Do I trust God and others with me? He looked at me and said, “Well, no!” – and I agreed. Me, neither!
We’ve spent some intentional time healing and exercising our trust muscles; we’re finding great value in this healing. Trust really does attract God’s grace.