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Thinking On Target

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace - in peace because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. For he has brought low the inhabitants of the height; the lofty city he lays low. He lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.

The way of the righteous is level; O Just One, you make smooth the path of the righteous. In the path of your judgements, O Lord, we wait for you; your name and your renown are the soul's desire. Isaiah 26: 3-8 (NRSV)

Lee Ann Zanon is from Oregon. She pushed herself to ride rugged single-track bike trails far beyond what she has ever done. Switchback turns, jagged rocks, tight spaces between trees, quick inclines, and descents just kept coming. Lee barely navigated one obstacle before another was right in front of her. What had she gotten herself into?

Thankfully she had a kind and experienced guide riding ahead of her. He let Lee know what was coming and gave tips on how to navigate each obstacle. At one point, he told Lee about target fixation, a term Lee had never heard.

He explained that our bodies gravitate toward our point of focus. If Lee kept her eyes fixed on the rock in the trail, she would likely hit it straight on and be launched off the bike. But if she concentrated farther down the way, aware of the rock yet not staring right at it, she could safely veer around it. After a while, Lee began to understand. Rather than nervously approaching a narrow passage between tree trunks, Lee forced herself to look ahead. She cleared it with no problem.

Scripture speaks of keeping focus on God and not on our troubles, which is easier said than done. But the Lord promises peace as we fill out minds with truth rather than worry. Life's struggles are still there, but God gives hope and strength to see us through.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to remember and cling to your promises. Fill our minds with your truth so that we may experience your peace, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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