The Fixation Problem

As I mature (I opted for this rather than “grow older”), I am discovering very few decisions I make must be made at a specific moment.  When we can conclude we are not really “hostages of the moment,” we grant ourselves the opportunity to place our impending decision in its true context.  We can look around at what else is occurring in our life, we can talk to trusted friends, and we have the ability as believers in Jesus Christ to spend some time actually praying about our situation.

 

Fighter pilots are some of the most talented multi-taskers in the world.  They are flying a multi-million-dollar machine, capable of doling out unimaginable destruction on whatever target they choose.  Today, pilots have access to a mind-boggling amount of data presented to them through screens, auditory signals, and HUD’s.  All the while, they can be hurtling through the air at speeds far exceeding the sound barrier.USAF F-16

 

One of the most dangerous problems a fighter pilot of today’s modern aircraft can face is something called target fixation.  Target fixation occurs when the pilot becomes fixated on an approaching target—whether another airplane or a ground target—and their concentration causes them to lose the ability to comprehend where they are in time and space.

 

When this occurs, the pilot doesn’t realize how quickly they are closing on their target.  They have forgotten to pay attention to where they are, and more importantly, how close they are getting to their target!  Because of this fixation, the distance between them and their target goes unnoticed and ultimately they can fly into the very target they are trying to destroy—a bad day all around!

 

Few of us are pilots; so, it is unlikely we would ever be subjected to the circumstances producing this kind of target fixation.  Yet all of us are guilty of being far too close to our problems and losing any sense of importance and context.

 

Up close, all problems look huge because we cannot have any sense of perspective.  How can we, since all we can see is the problem?  A crisis this large demands an immediate response!  This person at work could ruin our career!  My wife doesn’t understand how necessary this motorcycle is to how I define myself!  The salesman will sell it to someone else if I don’t buy it now!

 

The writer of Hebrews 12:2 in the New Testament of the Bible writes this: “Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”

 

Many people would understand and even acknowledge that Jesus Christ is our example in how to live our lives.  These same people would, however, never believe their situation deserves to be included under the example of the life Jesus lived.  Yet in this verse, there are two very important points.

 

First, the writer opens with a command to those who have a relationship with Jesus: we are to keep our eyes on Him!  Why?  Because He is the source of our faith (Acts 4:12: “There is salvation in no one else”) and His life completed or finished a life of perfection and obedience to the Father (“perfecter of our faith”).

 

Second, what motivated Jesus Christ to be able to be our example?  Because Jesus saw the problem which was before Him on the cross but He also could see the “joy that lay before Him” because He looked past the suffering of the cross (unimaginably horrible yet brief in comparison to eternity) to the eternal glory of being at the Father’s right hand on His throne!

 

The next time a decision “just has to be made this moment,” let us remind ourselves to keep our eyes on Jesus!  None of us are facing a cross or even death.  Yet if we make the choice to discipline ourselves to keep our eyes focused on Jesus Christ, we will never again fixate and obsess on a problem and crash into it!

 

No problem is ever longer than eternity; our bigger than Jesus Christ!

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About Jim Grieme

Pastor of Sunset Hills Baptist Church; Disciple of Jesus Christ, husband and owned by five cats--they also occasionally allow me to play tennis between feeding, brushing, puke clean-up & litter box cleaning . . . . . ; )

Posted on January 26, 2017, in Apologetics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for keeping us on your distribution list to receive these posts. They make very interesting and thought-provoking reading.

    I made some big decisions this past year. On August 1, 2016, I had by blind and very painfully sick right eye removed and got a new Prosthetic Eye on September 26. God has blessed me to be able to see better without my bind eye and for the first time in about 6 years, I am beginning to have clear, blur-free vision. I thank God every day for the blessing is sight – because when you lose part of your sight, it becomes even more precious.

    Keep up those interesting thought-provoking posts. I enjoy reading them and do get a blessing from them.

    WALK IN HIS LIGHT

    Charles And Carmen Creech

    11875 NC Highway 39

    Zebulon, NC 27597-7223

    (919) 269 8877

  2. Great word, Pastor! I once witnessed an illustration of your point:

    The speaker took a penny and held it up close to one open eye. He said he could see nothing of the wall at the back of the room for the penny upon which he was concentrating. He then took the penny and placed it on the wall (where it was relative to its proportions) and returned to the dais. From that perspective, the penny revealed its true size.

    Loved the comment about “actually praying” about our problem. What? Trust God? No, it hasn’t come to that, has it???

    Keep writing these, please!

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