March 27, 2019
Are You Carsick on Your Spiritual Journey?
My father-in-law emigrated here from Scotland, so most of Martine’s family still lives in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. We have been blessed to visit twice. On one of those trips, we were driving from the Isle of Skye to the Mull of Kintyre. As we drove through the Highlands, we saw awesome scenery … waterfalls and lush green landscapes with some Highland Coos alongside the scenic roads where we stopped for fish and chips at a small, quaint fishing village. Everything on this 7-hour trip was going great until we added a PB&J snack. At that point, nine-year-old Dominique got carsick and vomited all over the back seat while splashing on wee Nicole as well. It was the first time she ever threw up.
Have you ever been carsick? It’s a weird feeling. As the car races along, a passenger’s focus wanders, and as the car starts bouncing too much, carsickness can set in. But who is the one person in a car that never gets carsick? The driver. So why are drivers protected? It’s because they are focused on the road ahead, looking intently at the solid objects outside the car that aren’t bouncing and turning. They have a good sense of where the horizon is. Their vision, perspective, and worldview are grounded in something unchanging and rock solid. They are focused on fixed objects and the horizon.
With carsickness, the main problem is the conflicting data the brain receives from our eyes, our inner ear motion receptors, and the motion receptors in the tissues below our skin. In comparison, when we are walking all 3 of these areas are in sync and focused on a common motion task. Therefore, motion sickness doesn’t exist. When we are passengers in a car, these sensory tools get out of sync and the resulting confusion short circuits our brain causing it to send out odd messages to the body, leading to the symptoms and sickness.
The key is in the word focus. When we are focused … intentionally walking forward, not distracted in several directions, not confusing our inner systems, no motion sickness occurs. In the car, the driver’s focus is what protects him from the dizzying dangers of a wandering eye or other distraction.
Obviously, the same phenomenon happens to us spiritually. Are we focusing on Christ … who never changes? Or are we focusing on the circumstances that turn and swirl … changing as the wind blows? The merry-go-round of life keeps spinning and our focus is often on temporary, amorphous, slip-through-your-fingers answers. Then we wonder why we feel lonely, overwhelmed, frustrated, purposeless, devalued, exhausted, unimportant, indecisive, or dizzy. These are all symptoms of Spiritual Carsickness. Focusing on Jesus will bring much-needed direction and eliminate some of the motion sickness we experience on our spiritual journey.
Today, when you face adversity on what truths or principles will you focus? Are they from the grounded, tested truths of the Bible? Or are they flimsy, vacillating imitations from this world? Are you focusing too much on external circumstances instead of your inner relationship with God? Feeling carsick on your spiritual journey is a warning sign that you aren’t focused on the absolute truth. Re-orient and focus back on the Cross and God’s promises, and bring this focus to those areas of trouble. Our Curriculum will teach you the skills and self-assessment tools that can keep you focused on God in your everyday activities and decisions. Whether you have eyes that focus on His truth giving your mind stability, or you have wandering and distracted eyes leading to sickness and unrest is your decision, so choose well.
My Father and Lord, I know I have been focusing too much on problems instead of on Jesus. And as the circumstances around me change, I have become confused and discouraged … I am almost constantly “car sick.” I am bouncing from one crutch to another, looking for answers in so many wrong places. My attention wanders to imposters that provide temporary soothing. I pray that You will supply patience and courage for my needs. Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who focused only on You, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2