Stop Looking Around
I know, right? We’ve talked about this before. But here’s the thing, I’m a starter by nature. And lately, God is forcing me to see that stopping is often as necessary as starting. Bob Goff teaches it as a discipline of quitting something every Thursday. (You can pick your own day if Thursday isn’t your thing.)
So, here’s the thing I need to stop right now. I need to stop looking around at everyone else ALL THE TIME. I spend (no, I waste) so much time looking around at what everyone else has and what everyone else is doing. I’m even adept at disguising this practice as necessary work and strategy. “I wouldn’t want to re-invent the wheel.” “Readers are leaders.” “I like to stay informed.” “I want to learn from others – you know, because we’re better together.” See how good I am at justification?
Those things are true, and even good at times, but when they are excuses for looking around more than looking at God, I’m in trouble.
Too often when I’m looking around, I’m looking to see who is doing “better” than me or “more” than me. I’m also looking to see who is doing “worse” or “less.” I’m in a full-scale comparison trap, trying to decide if I’m doing okay using everyone else as a baseline. It’s exhausting – and frustrating – frustrating because we almost never get to see someone else’s true picture. Most of the time none of us are doing as well or as poorly as we portray, even in our best attempts at honesty and transparency.
So, now what?
My attempts at kicking unhealthy habits have a 100% failure rate, when they aren’t accompanied by the insertion of a healthy habit in their place. To stop looking at everyone else, I have to look somewhere else. Insert Jenn Johnson and Bethel Music –
“God, I look to you. I won’t be overwhelmed.”
Ha, it’s so true. My looking at everyone else was leaving me overwhelmed – constantly. So much so that I’ve grown tired of using the word overwhelmed. Looking to God refuses the notion that we can be overwhelmed. He is always enough. Looking around will always fuel our need for more. But God, God is enough – He’s even more than enough (see what I did there?).
God, I look to you.
For me, this looks like some more earnest time spent reading God’s Word than reading my newsfeed. It means listening less to what other people say about me, and asking God to show me more of who He is. It means laying in the newly hung hammock in our backyard, seeing with my eyes closed. It’s amazing how much my vision improves without my eyesight.
What about you? What is God asking you to stop these days? And what are you putting in its place?