Eyes on the Horizon

Our second daughter suffered from motion sickness—a terrible frustration for a third culture kid whose life constantly depended on travel.

Her home for many years was a small island in the South China Sea where our family worked among a remote people group. It was not an easy place to get to, and we did not have access to an airplane. Our only way on and off the island was by boat: our slow-moving, 24-feet outrigger that swayed and bounced across the waves.

Our travels over the ocean were often long and unpredictable, so we attempted to keep our mainland supply adventures to a minimum, but the trips were unavoidable. I did my best to keep our daughter from feeling miserable and nauseated. I researched all the medicines and tried anything that claimed to offer relief. Although some tricks minimized her symptoms, the best remedy was to have her sit beside me and intentionally keep her focus on a fixed point.

For our seasick traveler, the horizon became her fixed point. A visual anchor that held her focus and brought relief from the churning world around her. Because of the ebb and flow movement of the water, paired with the up and down motion of the boat, her eyes were not able to detect which way she was moving. These mismatched senses worked against each other, sending conflicting messages to her brain and messing with the balance of her inner ear. However, when she purposely gazed at a focal point in the distance, her eyes adjusted and worked together with her inner ears. The movement continued around her, but she had found her sense of equilibrium again.

Lately, I can relate to my seasick daughter hanging over the boat’s edge hoping for calmer waters. I read the news and hear stories on the radio of world events, and my heart becomes motion sick. My emotions don’t sync with the world around me and the truths I believe. Life seems out of control, swirling and moving in all directions, just like the ocean currents. I find it challenging to keep my spiritual equilibrium in the unpredictable changes around me. I survey the waves of uncertainty and stare at the chaos.

I am ashamed of how quickly I let my natural tendency take over. Why do I let it? I have studied and know THE TRUTH. This world wants to keep us spinning, but friends, we do not have to let that cause us to lose our poise. The idea behind changing our focus from the shifting environment to a fixed point ahead is not new. The same advice was given years ago in the pages of Scripture as an aid and encouragement to believers. It applies to us as well.

The Epistles are filled with numerous exhortations to the churches and believers to keep their eyes and hearts focused on our Lord. They faced many personal trials, along with persecution and unfair government control. It was not a peaceful time for them, but the early Christians were admonished to keep their eyes fixed on the Heavenly Horizon even amongst the uncertainty. “Gird up the loins of our mind and set our hope fully on the grace to come…” -1 Peter 1:13 The Apostle urges us to prepare our minds for the battles ahead and set our hope and sight on the inheritance that will be received in Heaven. We are to captivate our thoughts, not let them spin out of control. We are to be intentional about where we cast our gaze, knowing that as our eyes fall upon he who is THE FIXED POINT in the Horizon, our senses will sync together, and our balance will return. Jesus is our solid spot in a moving world.

How do you keep yourself from becoming spiritually seasick? How do you regain your balance when you feel the dizziness begin to build?

4 Comments

  1. Ruth Bryce May 25, 2022

    Megan this is such good truth.
    One of those truths we learn early in our journey but we come back to in new revelations. This last few months have been particularly swirly in a few aspects of life, I think I’ve been osalating between the screw your eyes up right and try to sleep type seasick coping strategy and trying to still myself by grabbing other things or people. Thanks for redirecting me back to the horizon and hope eyes onJesus brings. Hope you are well

    1. Megan May 25, 2022

      Thank you Ruth! I enjoyed writing this article, and it came at a time when it was a great reminder for myself as well. It’s easy to loose focus, but we have a solid anchor to place our hope on.

    1. megan May 28, 2022

      Thank you, Philippa! It is always a joy to share what the Lord has been teaching me!

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