Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Pet. 1:13)

MY HUSBAND AND I were at a retreat center on the banks of a beautiful lake. Several times, we took a paddle boat and pedaled together to the center of the lake where we would relax and enjoy the gentle lapping of the water. One day, we decided to head for the other side of the lake for a change. We were almost there when we noticed the waves getting choppy. Suddenly, forked lightning shot across the sky, followed almost immediately by a crash of thunder. Alarmed, we brought the boat around and pedaled furiously for the landing stage.

Our legs started to scream, “Stop! We need a rest!” But we had to force our bodies to cooperate. As the rain started to fall, we lost our clear view of the distant shore. If it hadn’t been for a red tower near the platform, we would have been swept off course by the waves. We stopped looking at the storm and kept focused on that tower.

The world today encourages us to listen to the desires of our flesh and our wandering thoughts. As Christians, we need to focus our minds upon Christ and look for God’s standards as He reveals them, then keep focused on Him. If we keep our minds under His control, our bodies and desires will move in the right direction. The secret lies in Christ’s mind within our own.

Are you off course? Focus on God, and don’t give up!

Shirley Corder is a registered nurse, pastor’s wife, and cancer survivor. She lives with her husband near the sea in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.