Focus ahead on the blessing; it will come into view
I was running the other day, looking down at the sidewalk, and I remembered that God recently told me to look straight ahead when I run. I said, “Wow, God; it is so hard to look straight ahead when I run. It seems easier to look down.” Immediately, I realized that the faith journey is the same way. In life, it’s so much easier to look down (on oneself, on others) focusing on doubt. I love all the Scriptures that reference running in the Bible. A life of faith is like a run in many ways (the training, the hills, the distance, the dedication it requires if one expects to receive the prize earned in steadfastness at the end!)
For the sake of this devotional, I will get back on track. I looked straight ahead. I noticed that a yield sign was coming up, and past that was a red light, and past that, I could see another sign of some kind, but it was too far away so it was blurry. As I kept running, looking straight ahead, I noticed that as soon as I approached and ran passed one object (the first sign), my eyes immediately focused on the next object (the red light), and the object ahead begin to lose its blurriness and became more clear the closer I got. I understood why God wants me to look straight ahead, especially in my faith journey.
What lies ahead of me is unknown and blurry, but in faith, I trust God to make it clear to me! If my eyes are fixed straight ahead on the “the next thing” God has for me, I stay focused, not distracted. Even though the furthest object is the blurriest, if I just keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, I realize that the blurriness fades, and I am able to see the next thing approach me. In one’s faith journey, the “next thing,” may be the next assignment He sends you on to bless/help someone. It might be the next blessing for you – “the next of many things” He wants you to accomplish!
I realized that if we don’t focus straight ahead in our faith, we will get distracted with figurative sticks, trash, and rocks alongside the road. These things are not worthy of us stopping mid-race to pick them up. They are mere distractions put there to thwart us from our faith focus. For example, a distraction might be some self-serving task, jealousy, bitterness, greed, laziness, doubt, or setting up pain and disappointment as an idol in our hearts and homes. Also, God is a God of connectedness so I know for sure that each thing that He puts before us is intimately connected in some way to the thing before and after. If we don’t focus, we might miss something, which causes us to miss 3 to 3,000… things that were connected to that one thing.
Life is full of distractions. If we are to run the race and run it well, we must focus straight ahead because the next assignment and/or blessing will surely come into focus for those who persevere. I don’t want to miss a thing!
"In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course." Psalm 119:5
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.