Walking has been my exercise of choice for many years. I’ve tried other things, but they never lasted for very long. I have always come back to stepping out into the clear fresh air and onto the quiet little streets of our country sub-division. Most days a breeze sets the grasses in the fields and the branches of the trees dancing to the sweet melody of birdsong. If I have eyes to see, there are miracles all around me. However…
I have a terrible habit. I look down at the ground as I walk. All the articles on walking for exercise tell you to walk with your head held high and eyes straight ahead. I try hard to remember to do it, but minutes into my walk I realize I’m concentrating on the few feet of road right in front of me.
I see asphalt, dirt, dead leaves, rocks, a stick or two – my own feet. You may think it nothing to fret about. At least I won’t trip over something and fall flat on my face. In fact, I nearly stepped on a small snake one of the times I actually was looking straight ahead! But that is of little consequence. What is an occasional snake compared to the beauty all around and over me?
When I catch myself with bent head and force myself to look up, I feel a mixture of wonder and regret. Regret for all I’ve been missing and wonder at all the delightful things right in front of me – billowing clouds, green fields, looping butterflies, field grass swaying with the breeze swirling around me, puddles filled with sunlit diamonds, wildflowers peeking their tiny heads above the fresh green grass and home with its ancient oaks standing sentinel. If I tilt my head a little more there is a breathtaking glimpse of heaven – radiant and full of promise. Peace washes over my soul.
If I’m not careful, if I get caught up in the dailiness of life, I find my view becomes very narrow. I walk through my days, head down, eyes focused on all of the things I’m trying desperately to control. It may be that family problem that weighs so heavily on the heart, or all the things on the to-do list that only seems to grow longer and longer, the family member suffering and in need of healing or the very real tragedies in a world grown increasingly filled with turmoil. It weighs so heavily on the soul. There is no peace.
Could it be as simple as changing my focus? What if I looked up and saw the wonder of the One who holds all things in His hands? What if I looked into the heavens and remembered Who it was who set each star into place and orders my days? The cares of life wouldn’t magically disappear, but they would slip into the small space they were made to occupy in the light of the knowledge of Who God is.
“Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of His might and because He is strong in power, not one is missing.” Isaiah 40:26 (ESV)
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10 (ESV)
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