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August 21, 2014

God’s Tunnel Vision

You can see your Goal, but how do you get there?

Written by Tina Cobian

…but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord Save Me!” Matthew 14:23

There are so many negative connotations related to the expression “Tunnel Vision” but when you think about what it actually means in the spirit, it’s an amazing concept. In fact one natural cause of Tunnel Vision is through extreme elation or a surge of adrenaline. How many times have you caught hold of a dream or a vision God has for you and you take off towards your goal with His tunnel vision? All you can see is that finish line God has placed at the end. God’s Tunnel Vision is not dark and gloomy, like one would picture in the natural. In God’s tunnel vision, His light surrounds you and marks your goal. However, when you become distracted by life, storms, fear, people and false visions, that tunnel can quickly turn into a dark and gloomy place.

Are you lost in the dark tunnel vision? Do you feel weak, lonely and scared? Is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel now so far off that you can barely remember the dream or the vision much less see it clearly? Maybe you have somehow exchanged God’s tunnel vision for the wrong vision. I have to think about Joseph and the dream that God gave him. He saw the sun, the moon and the stars bowing down to him. In the pit he had to remind himself of staring_out_windowthat vision and recognize that where he was at that moment was not his final destination. Each time, through every trial, he reminded himself of the higher purpose of God in his life. Even the day he looked out over all Pharaoh had given him charge over, at all of his possessions, the treasures and even his family. He must have gazed out at the night sky from his bedroom in the palace and said to himself. “I see the sun, the moon and the stars and THIS is not my final destination. He knew that God had further purpose for him and his dream had not yet been realized.

I would love to say that on every one of my trips through that tunnel, I slid happily through it on a rainbow where puffy clouds of cotton candy (with no calories) met me at every twist and turn until I finally arrived at my destination. The truth is that there are struggles along the way and realizing your dreams will not always come easy. I can compare one of my journeys to a trip our family took to a water park. I decided to take a ride on a giant water slide. I sat down at the top and as I let go, I realized how high I was and how fast I was going. I became fearful and put my hands out to slow myself down. Have you ever tried to pull a water balloon through a tube? (Please don’t camp there in that visual, you may never reach the end of this story.) Well that was me inching my way to the bottom of this long winding water slide. In an attempt to save some portion of my pride I let go of the walls right before my triumphant exit. I pictured my children’s applause, heard it, and envisioned the moment. The problem was that I had just enough time to gain enough momentum, get scared, and make a failed attempt to stop myself as I shot out of the tube flipped over and landed face down in the water. Yes, my children saw me. No they did not applaud.

Have you ever asked God why it isn’t just a straight shot from vision to end goal? Here is what happens in these times of trials or times when you see the goal but don’t know how to get there. You turn to Father and ask. There will be plenty of questions on the way and He has all the
answers. As an example, I started a new job about a year or so ago. The work can be difficult and every day I am met with one or more questions or problems I simply cannot answer or fix on my own. The company placed me right next to a mentor and when I get stuck, I go to her for answers. Throughout this year, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know her beyond the relationship of “co-worker”. She is my friend and the process I have gone through daily with her has allowed me to build that relationship…are you getting it?

So we catch the vision, we are awakened to a dream, we get God’s tunnel vision and take off. Remember that we can take and keep hold of His hand the entire time. He knows each step we need to take and when each step needs to be taken. He delights in the journey with us and will impart wisdom in the process. It can be exciting to try and run ahead but the dream will only be realized in His perfect time. If you get lost, stop and listen for His voice to get you back on track and back into HIS tunnel vision…Be encouraged for hasn’t He declared to you that He KNOWS the plans that He has for you…? (Jeremiah 29:11)There is such power in that scripture. God, Himself is speaking purpose over our lives, we just have to keep focused.

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January 16, 2014

From Detour to Destination

Have you ever invited guests over and before you knew it, it was time for them to arrive, so you threw everything in a closet where no one could see it? The house looks great, yet behind the scenes there is a catastrophe that needs to be cleaned. Sure you plan to clean the closet once the guests leave, but, well, you know. Likewise, we can plan our lives and set goals, yet never get around to working towards these goals. We find ourselves on detours. When I graduated high school I planned to attend college and earn a degree. Fast forward a few years and that is not what happened. I struggled in school, I was distracted with dating, and I began taking fewer classes. Then I took a well-paying job as a recruiter. The money was great and I was enjoying my job so much that there was no reason to finish school, or so I thought. The great job that I had left school for became too stressful and I decided to quit and look for another position. Weeks, months, and years had passed. Soon my goal to finish school was only a wish with little hope of coming true. To add insult to injury, employers were beginning to seek recruiters with degrees. Imagine that! Somehow taking the easy street tends to lead us back to the starting line.young-woman-walking-on-path-in-city-park By this time too many years had passed and I certainly did not want to be the oldest person in class amongst the youngins. However I was determined to finish what I had started years ago and I enrolled in night school. After a couple of semesters, life happened and I found myself dropping classes once again. Having less money and spending hours studying was simply too much trouble. I gave up and went back to work. I landed a job that I loved and was eventually let go because the company started to require all recruiters to have a degree.  I could not continue to put my education on the back burner. After counting the cost, I knew that giving up was no longer an option. I was determined to finish what I had started twenty years ago. In July of 2012 I walked across the stage and received my associate’s degree. It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment. After two decades and several detours, I had finally reached my destination. How many times have you been determined to make a change only to find yourself back where you started? The plan was to move forward, lose weight, make better choices, save money, be a better wife, or go back to school. You were doing well until something else became a priority. Sometimes the situation is so subtle- it creeps up on you like grey hair and one day you wake up and wonder how you got here. How do you get back on the road to destination? What helped me was to seek God. When God is the center of my life I receive His wisdom, strength, and guidance.  I also ask myself where did I go wrong and what was I feeling when the detour occurred. Once I have identified the detour, I list a few realistic goals and a plan to accomplish those goals. In order for me reach my goals I hold myself accountable to at least one person that I trust; a person who will speak truth into my life. Lastly I surround myself with people who have similar goals and values. We may find ourselves on detours however we can always ask God to lead us to our destination. Psalms 73:23-24 (NLT) Yet I still belong to You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
Written by Jessica Meza.
If you would like to reach Jessica, you can email her at admin@lifebuilderseminars.com