When I took up skiing the instructors mantra was “you’ll go where you’re looking”. I already knew this from my mountain biking days – it was a lesson learnt at a much earlier age when learning seemed somewhat easier.
Flying down a mountain trail it doesn’t pay to concentrate on the obstacles in your path, if you look at the big rock in the middle of the trail then you will hit it. If you look at the trail you want to ride then you’ll (usually) miss it. Obviously you want to be aware of obstacles and pitfalls otherwise you could end up a sticky mess at the bottom of a ravine. It’s all a question of focus and having in mind where you want to go.
Learning to ski in my early 40′s I had to relearn this principle all over again. The cognitive part of my brain already knew it but my instinct, my body and the wretched skis refused to comply with either the cognitive brain or my ski instructor. Of course I did eventually learn to ski at a competent level and my consciousness and experience came together.
I recently bought a motorbike after many, many years of absence and was dismayed to find that I had to relearn the lesson all over again – to look where I’m going otherwise I’ll go where I’m looking. The same principle applies in my Christian walk.
My focus needs to remain on him and his word. Just like the apostle Peter when he walked on water; when his focus was on Jesus he walked across the top of the waves, but when he looked around at the raging storm he began to sink. There are problems and difficulties in life but if I focus on them they seem to grow, whereas if I focus on Jesus I can usually get round them.
In my spiritual life I need to act on what I believe, trust in his word and remember his faithfulness. It does get easier the farther down the path I travel as I bring past experience alongside cognitive knowledge, but there are still problems and obstacle to face and sometimes I forget to look where I want to go and instead look at the very problem looming up in front of me.