Asian carnival rides last a few minutes longer than they should. Teacups go round and round and round forever it seems. Moans of agony follow the initial squeals of delight as we spin and spin and spin. Next thing I know, I’m listening for the “sounds of the fire swamp”, as we call them. The coughs and tell-tale signs of imminent danger that my child will succumb to their motion sickness. I can regale you with stories of my prowess in avoiding my children’s puke by attuning myself to the sounds of the fire swamp. Nevertheless, I can also disgust you with the stories of my failures too.
I decided to teach my kids the art of spotting whilst riding the teacups, that skill of fixing thine eyes on something immovable while the rest of the world spins around. “Stare at the teapot!” I yell! I demonstrate what I’m talking about while my kids look not at the teapot but at me and my head. I continue to implore them to fix their eyes on the teapot until they can no longer force their heads to turn and then flip their heads around and find it again with their eyes. They kind of get it. At least my shenanigans took their thoughts off their own pain.
The next day we encounter the concept of spotting again in our home school book. A boy stares at a clock tower as his row-boat rides the rough ocean swells. The tall clock tower is immovable, the only thing telling him what is stable and what is not. It is the one link to the solid land that can convince his stomach not to lurch up through his throat. The lights go on in their eyes. My kids clue in a little more and I clue in even more than they do.
Spinning teapots and rough ocean swells…my life often shares similar qualities. I spin, others spin, the world spins and I start feeling sick as I look around at everything rushing past in a blur. When will it ever stop? The ocean waves rise and fall and I feel like a kid in a dinghy with a green face often looking only at the water around me.
Spiritual spotting…the skill of fixing my eyes on the Person that never changes, the anchor for the pit of my stomach and my soul. I need to learn it.
Ah, to be a good spotter. To know what is true, real, and immovable in the midst of the seas and the spins. To fix my eyes on the Lord, to keep Him in my sights settling the pit of my soul in the midst of the spins and the swells.