Hebrews 12:1-2 says, let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It’s important to keep your eyes focused on the appropriate thing at the right time. I grew up on a small 40-acre farm north of Corunna. I remember my stepdad teaching me to drive a tractor and fit a field by dragging behind it a disk and a spring-tooth. These pieces of equipment are pulled by a tractor across a field to get rid of weeds, and they cut into the ground to break up the dirt and smooth out the field in preparation for planting. Many farmers today use a method of planting called “no-till,” meaning they don’t have to fit the field today like they did it in the old days. Anyway, I remember my stepdad saying, “Make sure, as you’re driving the tractor, that you look ahead to the end of the field, focus your eye on something there, and drive the tractor toward it.” It could be a fence post, or a tree, or a clump of weeds. I was to keep my eye on that goal and drive towards it, because if I did, my row through the field would be straight. The temptation is to always look at the ground immediately in front of the tractor, or to keep looking back to see if the row is straight. But doing that always ends up in crooked rows. Nowadays, the tractors can practically drive themselves with GPS, but back then, the way to have a straight row was to keep your eye on some object at the far end of the field.
As Christians, we must always keep in mind where we are going. Yes, we pay attention to shorter goals and little details along life’s journey, but we also focus on the longer view: We fix our eyes on Jesus who is in heaven waiting for us. Looking to Jesus isn’t like gazing at your favorite collectible, however. We’re not to simply look at him, but rather we are to look to him and partner with him to make a difference in this world as we are able. When we allow God to shape our lives, to transform our thinking and attitudes, and give us his perspective on how to live a flourishing life and how to see the world, that will help us to finish strong in our Christian faith. By looking in the right direction, we can run with renewed perspective. Rather than losing heart and giving up, our life can be strengthened and our path can be straightened.
Fixing my eyes on Jesus with you,