Encouragement · Faith · wisdom

The Power of the Stare

When she was younger, I noticed how my daughter’s heavy gaze fell on things that intrigued her. Sometimes the long, awkward stare was followed with an untimely question about the object of her attention–while still within earshot of others. I cannot count the number of times I asked her to stop staring. How many of you received or issued the instruction that staring is not nice?

While it used to make me wildly uncomfortable, I am not as squirmy with the idea of staring. Let me use my dog to explain.

She is also unrelenting with her stare game. When she wants something, she stares at the object of her desire AND me for as long as is necessary until she gets what she wants. She is unwavering in her desire and stare.

As I was cooking breakfast [eggs which are her favorite] this morning, I heard her little nails click across the floor until she arrived at my side. Her eyes darted from the stove to me many times. Her tail never stopped wagging as she silently communicated her sincere desire to receive eggs in her dog bowl.

It shouldn’t surprise you that I ABSOLUTELY shared some eggs with her. She is hard to ignore because she is steadfast in her pursuit of what she desires. That is a word for us.

Her strong stare game does not end with eggs. She loves to curl up with a blanket when she is tired. We first discovered this trend several years ago. Nearly every time we came home from work or from running an errand, the blanket from the couch was in a tangled mess or in a ball on the floor. It took a minute for us to realize that she was pulling the blanket off and trying to get under it. Sometimes she was more successful than others.

She still loves her blanket. When she is ready for bed, she wants to get under the covers and PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO STOP HER. She switches between staring at the blanket, staring at the closest person who might be willing to help, and wait for it…a soft cry. Works every time. I can’t help but love her focus and determination.

Kyah demonstrating the power of her stare! If you would not give her the blanket, we might not be friends.

The staring habits of my daughter and dog are an example of what former national car racing champion and instructor Gary Magwood once said.

“You steer where you stare. When trouble arises you must look where you want to go.”

Where are you staring? Where have you set the affections of your heart? I am not talking about curiosities, eggs, or blankets, but what are your deep longings and desires?

Do you desire healing from past trauma?

Do you long to be seen and known?

Do you crave connection?

We will steer where we stare.

To whom or what have you fixed your gaze?

Take a minute to consider what scripture suggests about where we fix our attention.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

The Greek word for fix, used in this scripture, means to look away from all else. In other words, to trust Jesus as the supplier of all our needs means we will stop turning to false substitutes.

My dog knows what she wants, but she also knows who will help her with what she wants. When she wants eggs, she doesn’t go to my bathroom and stare at the bathtub. She stays in close proximity to the one she knows can deliver the eggs to her bowl. Her attention is affixed; her expectations are high.

Oh that we might be like my dog! I know that is a strange statement, but I am here for it. I want to keep my attention fixed on the One I know can help. The substitutes always leave me empty.

Consider the power of the stare. Reflect on where you have fixed your attention.

We steer where we stare.

Fix your attention; keep expectations are high. The One who promised is faithful.

Stare on,
Alyssa ❤

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