I recently went running with a friend. As we turned to go up 27th street, I made this comment. “This hill is such a mental game for me. I look ahead and see it and think, will I make it?” We keep running up the hill. At some point, he says, “I am not sure why but I tend to keep my head down and eyes focused only a few feet in front of me while I run. Maybe it is bad posture but it seems to help.”
As we kept running, we discussed the issue of looking into the distance or looking at what is right in front of you. Which is better? Do both have a place in our journey? When to do which and so on. The conversation sure made the last mile easier. Maybe that’s the point – the journey is not meant to be done alone; hmmmmm?!?
During that last mile, my friend said something to this affect: “Maybe we are to set our eyes on Christ & what He has called us to do and then put our eyes down and go for it.” I said, “Yeah, you are right, it is not either/or but both/and.” We must look ahead and we must look down. We must look at the hill to see where we are going but if we do not look down, we could trip, fall or get discouraged at the hill that seems so long & steep. And if we only look down and never ahead, how will we know where we are going? It is no different spiritually: we must look at Christ to set a trajectory of where we are to go and then we are to look at each day, each moment with eyes down (if you will) and go for it. However, if our eyes are never focused ahead at Christ and we just get going head down, we could miss where He is calling us to go. The point: We must not only set our eyes ahead – on the distant goal – but we must look down to do the daily work it takes to get to there.
Prov. 4:25-26 gives us counsel on this topic as well. “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight ahead of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.”
Look ahead. Look down. Be established. You can do this!