Focus vs. FeelingNovember 18, 2016
By Rob Globke
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?”
I’m sure we have all gone through tremendous swings of emotion over the course of a season. And let’s face it, for all those families with a son, daughter, brother or sister who happens to be a goalie, these emotional swings happen game to game! These feelings are what make us human and it’s a large part of what makes hockey so thrilling. The game is much like life in that way. We live and play with the joy of victory and sadness of defeat sitting side by side within us. In one moment we experience fear seeping into our bones, and ten minutes later a feeling of peace takes its place. These feelings and many more create in us a sensation that we are truly alive and not just robots.
Our emotions and feelings are a gift of God….although sometimes don’t always “feel” like it.
We can all relate to the roller coaster our feelings can take us on. There were many times throughout my career in which I experienced a variety of emotions. I have many stories, some good and some not so good, but I can remember one specific instance when I was on this roller coaster myself. The emotional ride began during a friday night road game. We were playing a tough division rival. We got creamed. They mopped us up and down the ice. They punished us physically, mentally, and on the scoreboard. I remember feeling awful after the game. I felt like I wanted to be done with hockey. The bus ride home was miserable. The next morning I didn’t want to go into the rink for pregame skate. My emotions told me to stay in bed. What was the point of even playing at all!!!
Yet, I went.
After dragging through pregame skate, video and preparation, yet another game was needing to be played. That night we ended up doing the same thing to another team that we experienced the night before. By some miracle, I was able to score two goals and add an assist. I still haven’t opened my eyes yet! Needless to say, I felt much different after that game. Hockey wasn’t so bad after all. In the matter of twenty four hours my feelings about hockey, myself, and everything in between had changed.
I think about that story and watch many like it unfold in the hockey world and think about how this might relate to faith.
The world often tells us to follow our feelings. To do the things in life which make us feel good. To give into what we feel and let our emotions guide us. There is a sliver of truth to this. We should seek good things which bring joy. But, there is also danger. There is a danger we end up pursuing things that feel good, but end up hurting us. There is danger in avoiding that which is best because we don’t feel like chasing after it. Feelings can lead us in wrong directions. Our relationship with God can act in a similar fashion. We either avoid God because we don’t feel close to him or we lose sight of God because other things feel better in the moment.
It’s no wonder then that throughout scripture God is constantly reminding us to keep our focus on him over and above our feelings. He knows we are fickle creatures tossed this way and that by every fleeting emotion we go through in life. God knows how quickly we turn from him when our affection for him just isn’t there. So, he goes to great lengths in all parts of the bible to help us remember the TRUTH. A truth which does not change with our feelings. A TRUTH where God says:
So, when we feel like God is not there for us. When we feel like we are all alone. When we feel like trying to make it on our own. When we feel like doing something other than worship God. We must remember to stay focused on the truth. Don’t always trust feelings. Cling to the truth and focus on what God has already done. He doesn’t want us to tarry until we “feel” a certain way before coming to him. Instead, he calls us to come knowing that he gave his son so that what we “feel” is transformed by his love.
- I am good when you are emotionally high or low. (Psalm 100)
- I am loving based on the work of Christ, not based on how you feel in the moment. (Psalm 100)
- I am faithful because I keep my word, not because you feel close to me or not. (Psalm 100)
I will leave you with a quote and a verse to help us focus on the only thing that matters as we seek to live the way God might want us to live. :-)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Stand on Christ, Not Feelings
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. - Edward Mote