If you have seen the new (relatively) movie "The Karate Kid", you will know the part where Jackie Chan askes the young boy what he sees in the water. "My reflection." Then he disturbs the water, and the boy can no longer see clearly.
Take that as deep as you can. I'm sitting here in my garage, my homeschool room, looking out on a clear scene. I can see my street...the cars, the trees, the houses. The mail lady just came by. It is remarkably still outside. Now a wind blows and the image is distorted. I can no longer see as clearly, and with all the shifting of tree branches, I wonder if I really saw what I thought I saw.
It occurs to me that life is much like that. There are times when all is well. We have money, peace in our households, friends, a car, a job, and whatever else makes life grand. Our life is like a picture already taken...still and "picture perfect". I don't know about you, but my life generally does not stay that way. Goodness, in my house that status could change in a matter of minutes in either direction!
More often our lifes are like that water in the fountain that has been disturbed. It's hard for us to see, not just ourselves, but also the things around us. Depending on how great the distrubance will depend on how distorted the picture. There are times I have looked at my life and I wasn't even really sure it belonged to me! Surely this messed up picture has to belong to someone else!
So what do we do? Perhaps we could ask someone else to look for us. Would we really get the right picture? Our spouses would see the picture with eyes clouded by love. Our friends, depending on the day, might see it clouded by hope for us or even envy. Our children...well, let's be honest they would tell us exactly what we want to hear! A perfect stranger? Would we really trust what they would say...or would doubt linger in our minds?
If we can trust no one else, and even we cannot see the picture clearly, then what ought we to do? Maybe it's time to stop looking. Maybe our reflection is not as important as we think it is. Maybe we spend so much time looking at our reflection, trying to make it perfect that we miss our opportunity to do what God would have us do in this world.
Will we ever achieve perfection in this life? No. Will we ever reach a stage in our lives where conflict and distrubances will cease to be? No. Will we ever be able to see, clearly, the plan God has for us? Not in this life time.
Stop trying so hard to keep the waters of life still. Instead remember: So as He cares for the birds of the air, He will provide for you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. His yoke is easy, His burden is light. He loves you.
"Which of you can add a single day to his life by worrying?" Worry is a part of human nature...but we have a choice - we can cling to worry or we can let it go. We can pray or we can fret. We can give it to God or we can keep staring at that reflection hoping when it clears we will like what we see.
Remember, God intended for us to be a light unto the world. Try an experiment...shine a bright light into a flat pan of water. Can you clearly see anything? No. Trust in God and His commands. Instead of looking for you, shine for others.