Minister’s Message: In a time of crisis, look beyond the obstacles ahead

You hit what you’re staring at.

Early on in learning the joys of mountain biking I was coming down Resurrection Trail as fast as I could handle. I suddenly saw in the middle of the trail a large rock sticking up 5 or 6 inches. I knew I needed to avoid it at all costs, even though the trail was quite wide. Therefore I did the logical thing. I stared at it with all my concentration.

Now, if you are a more experienced rider, you already know what happened next. I hit the rock absolutely dead center. I flew over the handle bars in an upright position and started running as fast as I could right before I hit the ground. I ran quite a distance before I could slow down enough to stop but to my amazement did not fall! If anyone had seen how stupid I looked I would have told them I was just practicing the first two parts of a triathlon and then would have asked for directions to the nearest pool.

The adventure reinforced rather dramatically an important lesson of life: You hit what you’re staring at. Though I have since had other reasons to fall and other lessons to painfully learn, I never again repeated that mistake. From now on I look at the open path where I want the bike to go and ignore giant rocks.

This brings to mind two thoughts for our current crisis.

The first is to check our anxiety level. If it’s too high, we may be staring too much at the news on TV. There has been a lot of sunshine outside. The seasons are changing and we need to see it. Go for a walk. Ride a mountain bike. Take a drive. There’s a difference between staying informed and filling our minds with too much information.

The second thought is to check our faith level. If it’s too low, we can start staring at more scripture. We can pray more or call an encouraging friend. There is a lot of good to stare at on this path.

Remember, you hit what you’re staring at.

Here’s a scripture worth remembering:

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

You hit what you’re staring at.

Rick Cupp is the minister at Kenai Fellowship. For now, our church is meeting at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings on the computer using Zoom.

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