They indeed have gone astray . . . distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair. (Wisdom 13:6, 7)
Have you ever been steering a boat when you suddenly realize that somehow you’re off your original course? Maybe you’ve been just a degree or two off, but it’s been awhile, and now you’ve lost your bearings. Thankfully, with just a slight adjustment or two, you can get the boat pointed back in the right direction.
In the spiritual life, our “course,” our destination, is God. We want him to be at the center of our lives, with everything in our lives pointed toward him. But just like a distracted sailor, we can get off course—and even getting just a bit off course can have a big impact.
What can distract us? Ironically, some of our greatest blessings! “Fair” things such as our families, friends, hobbies, health, maybe even the beauty of creation. None of these are bad in and of themselves. On the contrary, they’re some of God’s greatest gifts to us. But when we let these gifts consume our attention to the point at which we forget the Giver, we end up off course.
So how do we get back on track? It’s simple. By making just a few slight but definitive adjustments. Maybe that means recommitting ourselves to daily prayer or daily Mass. Nothing redirects us better than taking the “helm” of our wills and fixing our attention on the Lord.
Maybe it means stopping a few times each day and turning our hearts to the Lord, acknowledging the One who gives us all that is “fair.” For example, if the sunset is particularly attractive one evening, don’t just admire its beauty. Go one step further, and look to the Lord, who made the sun. Or if a difficult conversation turns out unexpectedly well, take a moment to not only acknowledge how smoothly it went but to also praise the Lord for his grace in it. These small nudges toward God can make a big difference.
So let’s choose to stay the course by focusing our attention on God—and refocusing ourselves as the day unfolds. That way, we will surely reach our destination!
“Father, thank you for all your blessings! Help me to focus on you and see you more and more in my life.”~WAU