Dont Forget to Look Up

Yesterday I went for a walk in this beautiful Sonoran Desert, now I do stay on the road or well marked trails, because just strolling through the cacti is not well advised. I usually think while I walk and that is a good thing—it's amazing how brilliant you become when you talk to yourself. But during the walk I realized I was just looking down, watching my feet and the trial right in front of me while I was solving the problems of the world, but I was missing all that was around me. So I lifted my eyes and took time to look around. It was a beautiful morning a little cool with the sun low in the sky, but it was beginning to warm my face. The mountains were a beautiful green shade from the brush, cactus and the trees—yes we have trees in Arizona.

I looked down the trial to see where I was going and it all came to me. How many times in life are we just looking at one step at a time, one tasks or one project at a time while missing the beauty of where we are and where we are going? I agree that it is important to watch your steps and make sure you are taking the right steps, but when that becomes your only focus, you miss all of the joy of life around you. We do this as parents; we are so concerned about the work of the day that we don't take the time to look at the family we are working for. We do this at work, so concern about the tasks of the week that we don't look up to see where that career is headed. How much or our lives is stuck just looking at the steps and not the journey? Now there are times that you need to look at each step.

There is a part of the trail that I walk that goes through a wash and then up a rocky hill. I need to focus on each step and the placement of my feet to make sure I am on solid ground. But after that I am back on open spaces and smooth ground, that's when I need to lift up my eyes and look around again. When we look down we are only focused on our own problems, our own situations, our own worries and concerns—as I said before this is needed at times. But by looking up, we take our minds off ourselves and see the beauty of the world around us.

That's when thankfulness, gratitude and hope start to soar. In the Gospel of John there is a record of Christ in the area of Samaria, which was not a very reputable place at the time. He was on his way to Galilee and stopped to rest and asked a woman, a Samaritan woman, for some water. Well, one thing led to another and she ran off to tell the town who was at the well. When Christ disciples came back from looking for something to eat, they wanted to move on.

All they saw was the immediate situation and not liking where they were, they just wanted to move on. But when the men of the village came out to meet the man the woman at the well had told them about, Christ told his follower to "lift up their eyes", he was saying, "forget what you think about the Samaritans and look at the bigger picture, they want to hear what I have to say." Life can be so much richer when we lift up our eyes and see the bigger picture.

Copyright (c) 2008 Good News Publications.

Duke Clarke is a writer/coach/speaker who for the past 35 years has been teaching individual how to excel and be successful according to God's principles and a biblical point of view. To find out more information go to or

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