Tilt your head to the right. Now tilt it a little more…. A little more… when your ear is a whisper away from your shoulder, freeze. Is it a little harder to read? Does glare bounce off your monitor? Have you spied an itsy bitsy spider starting a web in the corner of something?
I woke up in the middle of the night with a wry neck. After doing all the right stretches, I used an ice pack, then climbed back into bed and arranged my pillows just-so. Lying there, I sleepily mentioned to God that I wouldn’t mind if He straightened me out.
But I woke up this morning looking like an art critic wondering if the museum hung a painting sideways.
(BTW, bunnies and birds get wry necks, too!)
Things looked different all day. I spotted a pen I’ve looked for off and on for awhile. (Hiding amongst the wooden spoons in the ceramic jar by the stove.) A box of those magic Teflon eraser sponges lay tucked against the left side of the cabinet under the kitchen sink.
Water spots on the side of a box in my shed tattled on a link in the aluminum roof. The air purifier is working well—the ceiling fans have no dust on them at all. (Why didn’t I buy one sooner?) There’s a sock under the couch. Maybe I dropped it while doing laundry…. Or one of the dogs is guilty.
Then it struck me. None of these things were from today—they’d been different for a day or a week or even a month. I can’t necessarily say when the change happened. But when forced to into this position, my perspective changed. I had a different outlook.
We get so caught up in the busy-ness of everyday life, stuff slips past our awareness. Especially, I think it does in our spiritual lives. Where did I write down the date of when I’d volunteer for the church nursery? Have I been praying for something as diligently as I’d hoped? Have I allowed an unkind thought drip through my mind? Has dust settled on my heart? Am I taking personal responsibility, or is it easier to let others shoulder work projects for the church or church family? None of those things are startlingly huge in an of themselves. But let a job go undone, a feeling untended, communication slip, and soon there’s distance between us and our Lord, between us and our family, and between us and others.
I laughed. Remember how I prayed and told God I wouldn’t mind it if He straightened me out? He did. He made me stop and look around myself and inside my heart. A different outlook can give a fresh perspective.
Our Saviour knows us and sees the very first steps His lambs take that could eventually lead them from His side. I don't ever want Him to have to go off in search of me, and I'm thankful He is so wise and gentle that He used a crick in my neck as His shepherd's crook so I'll be sure to stay close to Him.
Now straighten your head. I don’t want it to get stuck that way.