On a good day, when we give directions and discipline to our kids we ask them for their hands and eyes. Because if we have their hands, we’re connected (and there’s a better chance they’ll hold still for a minute) and when we have their eyes, we have their attention. When we meet our children’s gaze, we know they’re listening, they’re watching us, and there’s a much better chance they’ll follow our instructions or hear our correction.
It got me thinking about my relationship with God and where are my eyes, where is my gaze? The Bible says:
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy,your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”Matthew 6:22-23
But what does that mean for how we live, for how we relate to God?
If I want a life that is defined by God’s grace and love, my eyes must be fixed on Him.
For me, it means digging deeper into the Word, establishing a more organized and focused daily reading routine. (Click here to see the plan I’m following)
It means staying out of comment sections and unfollowing people who are toxic on social media.
It means paying more attention to where I go and what I do when I’m sad, angry, stressed, or bored.
It’s paying attention to what kind of television I watch, what videos I stream, and how long I keep my gaze fixed on them.
I don’t want to miss anything God has for me because I’m distracted, distraught, or unavailable.
In my work as a physical therapist I occasionally work with patients who are suffering from vertigo. They feel like the world is spinning around them or they’re spinning around in the world. I think sometimes we get spiritual vertigo. This world can be dizzying with its demands, distractions, and temptations. As a way to cope with the symptoms of vertigo, I tell them to pick an object in front of them, focus their gaze, and walk toward it. In Proverbs, God instructs us to live in a similar way:
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”Proverbs 4:25-27
God wants our attention, He wants our eyes, our gaze. He wants to know we’re thinking about Him, seeking Him, and that we love Him. And in turn, if we seek Him, if we’re looking to Him for our meaning, our direction, and our fulfillment, He will honor us with His Presence, His guidance, and His Love.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”Hebrews 12:1-2
It’s not always sin that distracts us from running the race God has set before us. Sometimes there are good things that take our gaze from God, promising they can fulfill us. But God calls us to singular pursuit – Him. If we love Him, we will love our neighbors. If we seek Him, He will be found and will give us direction. If we look to Him for meaning, He will sustain us in all our earthly duties and callings.
What are some of the things that distract you from seeking God? How can you refocus your time and energy on pursuing God in the coming year?
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”Psalms 27:4