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  • Alane Stanton

I'm Obsessed!

What do you do on an airplane to pass the time?

If you’re a 19 year old college student going home from spring break, you pull up your photos on your iPhone. And obsess. Do I look fat in this swimsuit? My hair isn’t right. Not tanned enough yet. Gotta get on the app and fix it … everything. Every. Little. Thing.

As I sit and watch the young girl beside me obsessing over her photos, I begin to wonder. What am I obsessing over at this very moment? Is it the kid who is retouching every photo? Is it the smelly fast food someone just HAD to bring on this airplane? Is it the miles and miles of coastline out the window far below that has not one single condo or home on it? (Take me there, please,)

Is it the mask I am forced to wear in order to travel? (I’m SOOO over it.) How about the cigarette light with a cancel sticker over it? (That one bothered me just a tad … just how old is this airplane anyway?) Is it the possibilities to explore once I land?

When it comes to focus, obsession, or even the distractions of every day life, do I allow them to derail me? Some days … YES! I overthink everything. I chase rabbits often. And at times, I find myself just staring out my back window when I should be studying, reading, working, or writing.

Soon, I will begin a study of Esther in my home for anyone who feels like they want to come. I may be studying alone, but hopefully with a group. I brought my study materials with me on this airplane, but …

I’m going on a trip! To places I’ve never been. My camera is my companion. No doubt I will be distracted from studying. But my intentions are good, if that counts for anything. I know. They only count after the follow through.

Esther was a grand example of follow through. She answered a call, she never expected to get. A mandate was set forth for all the eligible virgins in the land of Persia to come before the king. After literally banishing his former queen, he decided to search for a new one.

The kicker? If chosen, you would be Queen to King Xerxes. If not, you may never even see him again, and be forced to live as a concubine. If he called you by name, you might, just maybe, get to leave the harem.

The process was great for him. Not so for the many young women who were presented to him. They each had one night with the king. After that one night, they were no longer a virgin. No longer fit to be anyone else’s wife; living a life with only other women in hopes of being called before the king once again.

Esther was an exceptional woman. Even at a tender age, having never been with a man, she knew what was expected and what must be done. She won favor with the guard who watched over the girls. He instructed her in the ways of the palace and in the ways to the king’s heart.

Distracted? Probably. I mean, there were hundreds, maybe thousands of the these girls preparing to meet the king in hopes of gaining his favor and becoming his queen. Competition? No doubt. These were teenage girls! No doubt there was some obsessing and comparing of one another’s attributes.

I look at the girl sitting next to me on the plane. She never looked up from her phone and retouching her photos the entire 2+ hours on the plane. So preoccupied was she over her looks hoping to make a good impression with her friends, and no doubt on Instagram and other social media platforms. My heart went out to her as she deleted photo after photo, and retouched her face, her body, removing anything that might distract from her natural beauty. What she didn’t realize was that she was beautiful in every photo. No retouching was necessary.

Esther didn’t have the luxury of “retouching,” but she had the intellect to know … she was enough. She took the advice of her friend, adorned herself with one item, and went humbly before the king.

Yes, I get distracted. Obsessive? Not usually, but it happens on occasion. Do I sometimes feel in competition with other women? Sometimes. Should I feel that way? No, but I’m human. (And that’s a topic for another day. See? I told you I’m easily distracted!)

In the end, Esther didn’t allow the every day distractions to get to her. She had a daunting task ahead of her … win the king’s favor. I’m sure she experienced every emotion … fear, doubt, weakness, worry, intimidation … just to name a few. BUT …

She accepted wise counsel.

She boldly took her place.

She won the favor of a king.

We are also given wise counsel through scripture. God’s Word.

We can approach the throne boldly.

We already have the favor of The King.

Even though in life we face challenges every day. Even though we doubt. Even though we may feel a need for retouching …

The King of Kings and Lord of Lords loves us with an unconditional love. He longs to lavish us with His favor and blessings.

Be like Esther. Allow Him to love YOU today. Forgive YOU today. Favor YOU today.


“I delight in Your precepts. I will not neglect Your word.” - Psalm 119:116

“May Your unfailing love be my comfort. According to Your promise.” - Psalm 119:76

“Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins, So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.” - Esther 2:17

“But YOU are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that YOU may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called YOU out of darkness into His marvelous light.” - I Peter 2:9

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” - Psalm 84:11

“… according to the riches of His glory He may grant YOU to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” - Ephesians 3:16-19

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1 Comment

Loren Garofalo
Loren Garofalo
Apr 03, 2022

Fantastic perspective! Love love love your photos - stunning! And what a great reminder! We all do get ‘off track’ and focus, or obsess, on something other than God at times. Sometimes too often. But when we have a daily practice of being in His Word, in prayer, in stillness, He will draw us back. He will show us where we are off track. He will encourage us to refocus our vision, both physical and spiritual, on Him, His Word, His thoughts, His guidance, His love, His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His whole character. And that is where the journey begins again. Each time.

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