As I run along the path, each step requires that I watch where I put my foot.
Gravel can be treacherous in its inconsistency and so I need to be constantly vigilant.
A moment’s lapse in concentration could mean for me an injury, a twisted ankle, and so I look down. With each step I scan the ground for a larger-than-usual rock, a dip in the path, an unusual rise in the ground.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet…”
My legs hurt. Sometimes they feel as heavy as lead. Other times I can leap like a deer, raise my hands as I run and praise my Jesus. But even so, I have to keep watching the ground.
Yesterday as I was running, Jesus showed me something.
He showed me that while it is important to keep watching where my feet tread, not to lose concentration, to be constantly aware, it is also just as important to regularly look up.
I realized that this is something I do automatically when I run, simply because it is essential. As I am running, watching the gravel in front of me, looking at where my feet are to hit the ground next, I also look up regularly ahead of me to the path I am running on. I need to focus in the distance too
To know where I am going,
To see what is ahead,
To ensure I am still on the path.
To never look up at all, would mean my running off the path and into a tree, a bush or even the lake – it wouldn’t just mean a twisted ankle, I would be in serious trouble.
With the pathway having been cleared in front of me, I can see it stretching into the distance and I know I am heading in the right direction.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path“
Then down again I look, at the ground, scanning for potentially dangerous obstacles, scan, scan. Pound, pound goes my heart, crunch, crunch my runners on the gravel. Then up again I look, the path ahead is still stretched out, I have not lost my way.
I am moving forward on the path laid out in front of me.
It can be very hard. It is definitely painful. It requires endurance and discipline of mind and body. It requires watching, being sober, being vigilant.
But there’s something else too – it also requires VISION.
It requires being able to see into the distance, even if it’s not quite all the way into the distance.
The pathway is ahead. Look up sometimes.
As I ran I asked God for His vision for me, for us, for His work for the coming year. I reminded Him that He said:
“Without a vision, the people perish.”
So help me Lord, help me to look up, help me to see as you see. Give me Your vision for my life, especially for the coming year.
Be blessed in this festive season!