Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2)
In this Covid-19 season of home quarantine and social distancing, I have been taking 45-60 minute walks (most days) around a small lake near my house in the late afternoons. The fresh air seems extra sweet and I crave to be in nature—to see trees, water and new plants emerging from the early spring soil, to hear the sound of birds, to smell the earth waking up from winter. On my last walk (and I am going to remember this for future walks) I did something a little different. I LOOKED UP.
A new friend, Mark, came into my life this past year and we enjoy a monthly breakfast to discuss life, transitions and to encourage one another. A few months back he said something that caught my attention. He said most of life (the Christian life) is about looking up. He went on to share all his thoughts about lifting your head up (physically and metaphorically) to view life and to SEE life with fresh eyes—taking the gaze off yourself so that you can see God, others and opportunities that are never in focus when looking downward or curving inward.
Look up. On my last walk, I realized that I often look down and my mind races with too many concerns and I find myself talking out loud about situations or to people that are not even present. Then I remembered my friend’s words. I took an entire walk looking up, and a world emerged. Creation shouted to me with its wonder. God was more present. It was awesome!
Some people have a knack for looking up. Jason Randall (part of Altar Fly Fishing’s Board—check out his website) is a master of looking up. I have never fished with him when he does not call out something amazing in the water, the air, or the trees around us—like bald eagles and pheasant-back mushrooms. His orientation is to look up in both fishing and life. I like that. I need to grow in my upward orientation.
What about you?
I leave you with several looking up Scriptures below. Perhaps as we all live into different rhythms of homelife and seclusion you will take time to read and reflect on these verses and answer the following questions. You may even want to read and discuss these with a friend or family member.
May you look up in this season of life and find amazing hope and grace that God has placed all around you. It is there…just look up.
- Read and reflect upon these looking up Scriptures: Job 12:7-10, Psalm 19, 121, Matthew 6:25-34; Colossians 3:1-17.
- Which of these speak most to you? Why?
- Are you a person who naturally looks down or looks up? Explain.
- Find some part of your day today or tomorrow to intentionally look up. Take time to write or journal your experience. What do you notice? Anything surprise you?
- Why do you think looking up in our current season is so important?