Mind Your Head. Awake Series, Part 29

Hole in the RockMind Your Head signHole in the Rock

We were sailing aboard a tour boat, heading for the Hole in the Rock in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Most of the tourists were at the ship's stern, complaining about the view, but I knew something they didn't: The best spot to view this natural wonder was at the bow of the ship! And that's where I was headed.

I had just crossed the ship's cabin area when it happened. I initially thought the room was completely empty, but as I neared the fore exit, I noticed a teenager in my path, fiddling with her Ipod. "She's missing the highlight of the trip," I thought as I squeezed by her. But with my attention turned towards the teen, I didn't notice that the height of the door was less than equal to my own height. Nor did I notice the sign posted over the door: "Mind your head!" I turned away from that teen just in time to smack my head on the top frame of that low door.

The impact sent me sprawling onto my back, with my head bouncing up and down off the floor as if it were made of rubber. Needless to say, I was disoriented for a while. I had no idea that it was possible to see so many stars in the daytime!

The boat's photographer ran to my aid and helped me to my feet, then he encouraged me to sit down for a while.

I looked at him strangely. Surely he would understand that I couldn't do that! I had a picture to take!

The announcement came right then that we were sailing through the hole of the rock. I pulled myself unsteadily to my feet and headed outside, but believe me, I ducked this time! And I learned something else: It's hard to take pictures when all your brain is worried about is shaking off the dizziness! Nonetheless, I got my pictures while sailing through the Hole of the Rock.

I have to wonder, however, if my fall had anything to do with the funny focus of my pictures …

More often more than not, my focus isn't where it should be. I am too distracted by my circumstances. I let them too easily overwhelm me. If only my mind was always focused on: "I have to love like no one else does, just like Jesus does!" If I had displayed this attitude from the beginning, perhaps I would have avoided hitting my head on the door jamb!

I wonder if this was the problem with the priest and the Levite when they encountered that poor man on the road who had been severely beaten by tugs. It seems that their focus was a bit off as well. They had their own agendas, and they completely missed the purpose of their existence:

"A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side." (Luke 10:31-33 NIV)

This priest and this Levite were kind of like the teenage on the boat, the one who was so fascinated by her Ipod. I am certain she would have come to my aid, if only she had noticed what had happened to me!

It seems I am not the only one whose focus is off course. Our petty obsessions keep us from focusing on others, like Jesus did. They keep us from real living! Weren't we urged to "Above all, love each other deeply…" (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)?

But like the good Samaritan in the story, there was one who came to my aid: The photographer. Despite the fact that his job on the boat was to take the best pictures possible, he was also focused on others. He was my Good Samaritan and I am grateful for him. In a small way, he portrayed God's focus on the universe: "Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love." (Eph 1:4 The Message)

It's time we take notice of the sign: "Mind your head"! A lot of headaches could be avoided!

Are you minding your head?

Rob Chaffart

height of the doorHole in the Rock

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