This past week was the 37th anniversary of the Challenger explosion. I was a child when the explosion happened, but I still remember it well. The photo I’ve shared was taken at the Air Zoo Museum down near Portage MI. My parents, Ben and I all went on a trip there a few years ago, and I found myself drawn to their exhibit. As a young child, astronaut had been near the top of my career choices. I admired Christa McAuliffe because she was a teacher and an astronaut, two of my top career choices. I remember feeling great sadness the day she died, even though I’d never actually met her.
Time is such a funny thing. In some ways, it still feels like the Challenger explosion happened yesterday, and in other ways, it feels like it happened a lifetime ago. So many big events in life seem to be that way.
Exercise and a Little Sunshine
With winter in full swing, it’s been difficult to get outside to exercise in the way I like to. I’ve been finding our basset hound puppy is great exercise, especially because she loves to play tug-of-war and will play with me as I walk. We have so much fun, and it’s been a great way to get energy out for both of us, me walking the house with her pulling on a toy as I walk. It’s also a really great way to strengthen my muscles. She weighs over 50 lbs and is a very strong dog.
It’s been nice to see a little sunshine too. The clouds have been hanging on, with very little sun this winter. We’ve had a few days where the sun peeked out for a short time. It’s bitter cold outside, but beautiful at the same time.
Take Your Eyes Off The Problem
This week, one of our dogs got the tie-out she was on wrapped around a tree. Our yard is not fenced in, so we either walk the dogs on a leash or let them out on a tie-out if they want out. Our basset hound puppy is learning how not to get tangeled around trees outside, but this week, she found herself wrapped around one with the tie-out.
Around and around she went, trying to make the problem better, but it just made it worse. I tried to help her, but she still kept going the wrong way as she tried to solve the problem herself. Finally, I went inside and brought out a treat. It took her eyes off the problem for a moment. Carefully, I led her round and round the tree, keeping her eyes on the treat as we slowly got her untangled. Once she was free, she ran excitedly back to the house.
After I thought about this situation later, I realized the problem was solved when she took her eyes off it. It reminded me of our own lives. Too often, I focus on a problem. I want to get unstuck from something, so I go round and round until I find myself tangled up even worse than I was to begin with. It’s only when I take my eyes off my problems and focus on where God is leading me that I can get unstuck.
People have often told me they don’t understand how I’ve handled things as well as I have with everything going on. It’s not that I don’t have bad days, I do. It’s that I keep coming back to the One who can truly handle my problems, the One who has the solution. So even on the really tough days, when I’m hurting, or frustrated and just don’t know what to do next, I can lean on the fact that my Father in Heaven knows exactly what to do, even if I can’t see it. It’s trusting in that that is hard. Sometimes it feels like it’s easier to just keep trying on my own, keep going around and around and maybe one of these times I’ll get it right and things will go like they should. But they don’t. It’s not until I take my eyes off the problems and focus on the One who can truly guide me in the right direction that things begin to turn around. It’s easier said than done. On the really bad days, it’s hard to remember that there’s a God in charge of the situation no matter what I’m facing. But when I take my eyes off the problem, I truly am set free.