My husband and I were lucky enough to take a trip to the mountains a few days ago. It had been years since I had been up that way and experienced the beauty of that part of the country. Needless to say, we did lots of hiking (and lots of panting and complaining). Of course the terrain was very rough at times, but the views were well worth it! As I was hiking this one trail which was pretty level, I wanted to make sure that I knew where we were going and didn’t get lost. I kept my eyes fixed to the ground just ahead of me so I wouldn’t lose my footing on the rocks or fallen branches. Of course the ground was full of fresh fallen leaves, but I was surprised by the number of tree roots that were exposed. As I became more confident with my walk, I began to look around more. I didn’t want to miss anything. I saw the beautiful colors of fall, rock filled streams, and even hoped to see a deer or two. I soon became so focused on looking all around me, that I didn’t look down at the path for some time. Suddenly I tripped over one of the roots that were sticking out of the ground and almost fell. That brought my eyes back down for the rest of the walk.
As Christians I think we are somewhat like that. We tend to keep our eyes on the ground, focused on what is right in front of us, afraid to look ahead. We miss so much of what surrounds us by doing that. The “big picture” is lost in our tunnel vision. But other times we may be so busying look around, looking for something better, that we miss what is right in front of us. We stumble and fall, and then we become afraid again. If only we could “balance” our vision. That is where faith comes in. We have to have faith to follow the path that God puts before us. We have to have faith to be able to look ahead without the fear of stumbling, and look down without missing out. There are many roots in our lives, waiting to trip us up, but if we continue to be so afraid to look up for fear of stumbling, we might miss out on the vast blessings God has laid out around us. I want to let God guide my path. I want him to tell me when to look down, and when to look ahead. And if I do stumble and fall, guess who will be there to catch me!
Psalm 199: 105