My teenage son’s calf and thigh muscles bulged under the strain of running the one-mile race. Beads of sweat lined his tan brow. His eyes were fixed ahead, oblivious to the people in the stadium. With lips partially open, he inhaled deeply and led the other runners during the first two laps.
Then a swift runner passed my son, and left him lagging behind. My pulse quickened as I watched from the bleachers. I shouted as he ran by, “Keep going. Finish strong!”
On the final stretch of the fourth lap, my son’s face grimaced as a spurt of energy catapulted him pass the runner ahead of him, and over the finish line. Throwing his head back, he gasped for breath and let his body relax. Victory was attained, but not without endurance.
I am not a runner like my son, but I’ve been on this marathon journey called life for fifty plus years. Some days I’m in my running groove, able to persevere and finish strong.
Other days, it seems I’m on a treadmill. I’m worn out, going nowhere, and….
- Sick of the rat race: the pressures to make a buck, perform, and compete with the Jones.
- Tired of the mundane business of daily life: what do you want for dinner?
- Overwhelmed by the tyranny of the urgent.
BUT when I adjust my eyesight. When I shift my gaze from horizontal to vertical, I’m able to endure the race because ….
Horizontal eyes are dilated from fear and anxiety over what if’s, and situations outside of my control.
Vertical eyes trust in a sovereign God who will lead me and not forsake me.
Horizontal eyes are envious of other people’s success, and concerned with their approval.
Vertical eyes choose to live before God and not man.
Horizontal eyes allow the world to set the benchmark, and assess my performance and worth.
Vertical eyes “run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith….” (Heb.12:1, 2)
Which direction are you gazing?