Are you digging at shadows?
I heard the most hilarious story today about one of my student’ s dogs. This dog is giving them fits. This little “weiner dog” named Rusty is fixated with his own shadow. So fixated in fact, that he often lunges at it, fights it, and digs holes into it to fight it.
What has resulted is a back yard that has more holes than a World War II battle zone. This little dog has found his shadow in countless places and digs until he tires!
Rusty hasn’t learned that his shadow is not real and spends all his energy digging. He never finds anything. It is never real. It goes away when the sun goes down it is gone and only reappears tomorrow when he ventures outside.
How do we dig at shadows?
We go out into the world each day about or business.
Oh, what is that over our shoulder?
Did I catch a bad look?
When so and so said something did I detect a tiny glint of resentment towards me? I gotta dig. I gotta find out. Did she? Did he? Did they?
When I leave the room are they talking about me? What did they say? Did he? Did she? Did they? What? Why? Why do I deserve this?
Everywhere I go, its just like this!
Focus on the master gardener
The world is a stormy place, that is for sure. But we are not to be surprised when we have problems!
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Of course people aren’t going to like us! Of course there are problems! Of course there will be in the future.
However, I don’t believe that God created us to be paranoid and constantly looking over our shoulder. We are to be wise.
He shall cover you with His feathers,And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
Like a Mama Bird
This is a picture of a Mama bird with her helpless chick sitting on them amidst a storm. We must stay close to our Savior. He will cover us and give us our refuge.
That little bird is nestled under Mama resting, warm and safe. Could you picture that little bird shivering and scared under Mama? NO!
Under the shelter of the wing, the bird is safe. Out in the cold world alone, the bird is vulnerable, cold, and afraid.
We are in the world but not of it. We are out in the world but under the shelter of God Almighty’s wing if we follow Him and stay close! Even in death, He keeps us safe as He sends his angels to escort us home to Him.
… the day of death [is better] than the day of one’s birth;
Why would God say such a thing unless He meant it! From dawn to dusk, Jesus is our Shepherd and will not leave us. The Holy Spirit is in us and Jesus promises.
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”[a] 6 So we may boldly say:
“ The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”[b]
When we dig at shadows and waste our time pursuing things we “think” are there, we are giving Satan a foothold. We can spend all day overanalyzing what people think. Remember this, Jesus said:
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
If you spend your time digging at shadows, you will neglect the work God sent you to do.
You will expend your energy digging at things that aren’t there and not dig where God tells you to dig.
Focus on the meaningful
Focus where God wants you. When you are tempted to explore the odd glances, strange looks, and off the cuff remarks of your coworkers and friends you will most often find people, like yourself, who say things without thinking or just have a bad day. You will waste your time thinking about things that aren’t really there. You will waste your day digging at shadows.
When you spend your time thinking about all the things that COULD happen you don’t focus on what God wants you to do right now! He says He will take care of tomorrow. He doesn’t need our worrying to make that happen. He can see tomorrow without us playing out all the scenarios in our mind.
When we worry about something and it happens, we have just done three terrible things:
- By focusing on what could happen, we may invoke the “self fulfilling prophecy” by inadvertently making it happen
- We live the terrible incident many times before we live it once. A bad event can only happen once THAT time unless we let our mind live it over and over before or after.
- We tell God we don’t trust Him to do what is best for us.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Hey, Christians, let’s stop digging at shadows and start living in the LIGHT!
Lord, as we seek you and look towards you, let us only spend our time and energy on things which are not from you. The enemy causes confusion and you cause peace. Let us focus our hearts on your peace and reject the confusing thoughts and worries that bombard us. Thank you for guiding us. In Jesus name. Amen.