Fear and Faith.
They are both very powerful forces in life, and both are spiritual. As 2012 gets under way, I think it's important we settle up front exactly what filter we'll be applying to our hearts and minds as we take in mega amounts of information, and make an almost inumerable amount of decsions based on that information.
I believe it's not just the outcomes that are important, I believe the process we take to reach those outcomes is just as important. For example, last week the Packers, in their quest to make it to yet another Super Bowl championship, came into their game with the Lions armed with a plan based on some past experience and forward thinking trajectory.
Having Matt Flynn at the helm and Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines turned out to be a great plan. Not only did their starting QB get some needed rest and avoid some potentially damaging hits, their backup got some airtime and turned in a stellar performance culminating in a win.
As we stand on the threshold of another year, we need to ask ourselves as individuals, "What's my destination (goal) for this year?" and "How am I going to get there?" Enter fear and faith.
Because every journey necessitates so many decisions, we have to filter the information we're getting to make sure those decisions all move us toward our goal and not away from it. If the filter we process everything through is "fear", then it's unlikely we'll ever reach our intended destination. We read in Job 3:25 "For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me."
There is a principle in life that is true and here it is: Your body follows your eyes.
It's the cause many car accidents. You turn your head to look at something, your hands follow your eyes, and you end up turning the car in the direction you don't really want to go. The same principle is true when fear becomes a controlling factor. When all we can see are the reasons something won't work, or get distracted with why we shouldn't be moving our lives in a certain direction based solely on challenges or circumstances, we'll never reach our destination. In fact, we may very well end up in the ditch. Fear becomes a dominating factor in our lives because it becomes all we can focus on or see.
On the other hand, when we replace the fear filter with "faith", that very same principle of our body following our eyes works for us. We see a great pitcher aiming the ball with his eyes into the strike zone. We see a great batter keeping his eye on the ball and connecting with the bat. We see a great fielder watching the ball and guiding it into his glove all because he keeps his eyes on it. The same is true for most any sport, but you get the picture. Faith doesn't dread failure. It anticipates victory and success. In fact, "faith" and "expectation" are almost synonomous.
The classic definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1 which says: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." As you look out over the vast expanse of this year and think about where you want to be next January (no, the world is not going to implode on December 21st!), look through the lens of faith and set the bar high.
Look at your destination and determine in your heart through faith that you'll reach it. Will there be pitfalls this year? Yes! Will there be challenges and difficult circumstances? Absolutely! Remember, the process is all part of the journey. But as we keep our eye on the prize, I believe we'll look back with joy and satisfaction to what will be the greatest faith-filled year of our lives.