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Jun 04, 2022 08:00am
Even a Tiny Shift in His Direction
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I grew up in the decade when the exploration of space was at its peak. Like many, I watched television for hours as the journeys unfolded. But also like many, over the years the fascination faded for me. 

But recently, I have had a couple of experiences that rekindled some level of interest. 

The first came one night as I was flipping channels on the television hoping to find something interesting to watch. I came across the movie “Apollo 13”. Even though it was a highly successful movie released over twenty-five years ago, I had never seen it. So I decided to watch.

The movie creators went to great effort to accurately reflect the drama of that failed mission which turned into a dramatic effort to return the astronauts to earth safely. One of the more interesting points depicted was the need to realign the spaceship precisely to its original intended flight path right down to a fraction of an inch. Just a tiny deviation off course could be the difference in success or failure, and even life or death.

Then a couple of weeks later, I had the opportunity to visit a rocket and space museum where again the need for an absolutely precise trajectory alignment was demonstrated. Even a deviation of a quarter inch in direction over the course of a mission could result in the spacecraft missing its target by thousands of miles and be catastrophic.

Clearly, tiny shifts in direction make a dramatic difference over time. And just as clearly, tiny corrective shifts are necessary for the success of the mission.

DIRECTION MATTERS TO US

So could it be that this principle also applies to other areas of our lives as well? Can tiny shifts in direction throw our lives off course? And more importantly, can tiny corrective shifts put us on the right trajectory?

Yes, yes, and yes.

In fact, I think for many of us, it is those tiny shifts in direction that will ultimately impact our lives more drastically than any highly noticeable and dramatic turn of events. There is ample evidence that tiny shifts toward a healthier lifestyle make a substantial difference over time. The same can be said about our financial and relational health. Corrective shifts, tiny as they may be, can have a dramatic impact at the end of the proverbial day.

Since this is a faith-based forum, you may be asking if this really has any spiritual application. Can tiny shifts in direction throw our spiritual lives off course? More importantly, can tiny corrective shifts put us on the right trajectory?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Tiny shifts in direction can indeed put on the right path as long as those shifts are toward Jesus.

And the amazing thing is that this principle works for everybody. 

It doesn’t matter how close or how far away you consider yourself to be from Jesus. 

It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself a seasoned saint or an unredeemable sinner. I

It doesn’t even matter if you have outrightly rejected Jesus!

Just make a shift in Jesus’ direction, even if it’s just one tiny shift at a time.

Jesus is right there with you wherever you are. Even if your life seems like it is in the pits of hell itself, Jesus is within arm’s length. He has always been there. You just have to make the deliberate effort to reach out in his direction. 

DIRECTION MATTERS TO JESUS

There is an encounter recorded in the Bible where a desperate woman made a deliberate effort to reach out in Jesus’ direction. She was an outcast in her society because of a long-term bleeding issue that labeled her as unclean and untouchable in that day. Surely she felt a sense of shame and isolation. Her situation certainly seemed hopeless.

But she made a conscious decision to deliberately reach out toward Jesus. 

So she slipped through the crowd, came up behind Jesus, and reached out and simply touched the fringe of his garment. I think it is important to note that this was not some kind of grand public demonstration of faith. In fact, she wanted to stay hidden. There was not a dramatic embrace of Jesus. She simply touched the fringe of his garment. Certainly this act took courage, but it was more an act of desperation than anything else.

It was only a slight touch of a garment. At best, it was a tiny step. But tiny as it might have been, it was in the direction of Jesus. And he noticed. It seems that Jesus was less interested in the magnitude of the gesture than in its direction. Any shift toward Jesus, regardless of its magnitude, is a grand gesture in Jesus’ eyes. And it will release his power on our behalf.

“But Jesus said, ‘Someone deliberately touched me for I felt healing power go out from me’ “(Luke 8:46)

It would be tempting here to give you a list of things that you can do to shift in Jesus’ direction. But the truth is that looks different for each of us. Some of us may be ready to make a grand shift toward Jesus in our lives. If that is the case, I urge you to go for that with gusto.

But there are many others who are not at that point. For those, I urge you to just shift in his direction in at least some tiny deliberate way today. Regardless of how small that shift may be, Jesus will notice. And he will respond. Regardless of where you are, he is right there within arm’s length. Never underestimate the importance of a tiny step as long as it is in the direction of Jesus.

Before we go, I must confess that I got this “tiny shift toward Jesus” phrase from a prayer that one of our worship leaders prayed over our church a few Sundays ago. And indeed, it helped me to recognize and make a small but needed shift toward Jesus in one area of my life that very day. 

Likewise my prayer over each of you is that regardless of where you stand with Jesus, you also would recognize the need and make a deliberate shift toward Jesus today. Even if it’s just a tiny shift.

Because there are no inconsequential shifts as long as they are in the direction of Jesus.

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