looking up...and down
Walking up La Plata, as dawn broke, the beauty of God’s creation was overwhelming. The orange morning clouds mesmerized me. I prayed, wondering if He had something specific to show me, as we hiked to the top.
Up close to this beautiful range, I found myself taking a few steps, and then looking up. The path was steep, rocky in places, and had lots of loose dirt in others. It required my full attention.
Several times I desired to sit and take it all in, but my friends and I had plans to reach the top. We’d wait for a moment, but after 60-90 seconds, we were ready to go; you know, “long way to go – short time to get there.”
So our lives ebb and flow. There’s tension in our lives between wanting to look down, to be certain our steps are sure, and looking up, to admire all God is doing around us.
Looking up, I see His beauty. I see He is at work. Yet, soon I lose my way, wandering off the path or worse, stumbling and hurting myself if I’m not paying attention to the trail.
Through several portions of our hike, the way was marked by cairns (stacks of rocks). Even with these markers, I struggled to find the next step. It took effort to stay on the path. I had to look down, to know where I was going.
Similarly, I need to take care of my daily chores, to pay my mortgage, taxes; to be sure my family has shelter and food each day. As beautiful as the big picture is, I need to look down to manage the details of each day.
And yet, if all I do is look down, I miss the beauty of all God is doing in my life. He is surely at work, and I’m missing Him. My trust falters and I feel I must worry over every little detail, or something will fall through the cracks.
The hike helped me see I need to walk with my Father through the tension of looking up and looking down. As I pursue my relationship with Him, both are required. Looking down clearly outlines things I have to do, but looking up grants me the proper perspective as I do them.
As I look to Him, God aligns me with His purposes. I see how big He is, and small I am. It’s a constant reminder to have eternal perspective, and trust the One who has saved me with all the little details of my life.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.“ – Colossians 3:1-3