Have you ever inadvertently looked at the sun and then closed your eyes? What did you see? Most likely two spots. Have you ever tried to examine those spots? I did once, and was immediately presented with a difficulty. When I closed my eyes and tried to focus my attention on the spots, they would move and stay at a place in my visual field just ahead of the center of my focus. After a minute of chasing the spots around in my consciousness, I finally figured out what to do. I looked past the spots and focused my attention on a point in the background. When I did this, the spots stabilized and came into focus in the foreground of my awareness!
According to Jesus of Nazareth, our lives are very much like these spots. If we spend all of our time trying to look directly at ourselves, our lives dart around, become unstable, and get drastically out of focus. However, if we deny ourselves daily for Christ’s sake (Matthew 16:24-27)—that is, if we gaze past ourselves and stare at Him with dedication and affection—as a byproduct we come into focus and stabilize in the foreground.
— J. P. Moreland, from Love Your God With All Your Mind, kindle location 966