Where do you usually look during the day? Down at your phone, over the steering wheel out the windshield, at the ground beneath your feet, at the computer screen in front of you, off into the distance wishing that you could be anywhere else but where you are right now? Where we look is where our focus is, where our focus is, that is where our mind is, and where our mind is is where our heart is. You cannot look somewhere and not send your heart and soul there as well. Just think about the last time you looked out a window, whether you’re focused on the scene before you or not, your heart and mind are fully present in that moment, they are fully invested in what you’re seeing and thinking about. Where we look is where our hearts go to find their home, so why do we waste our time looking everywhere but heavenward?
The saying goes that the eyes are the window to the soul, but I like to think of them as a doorway to your heart. When you look at something, you’re opening the door for your heart to get seduced and go out and find more of that same thing or feeling. What we spend our time looking at is what we’re ushering into our inner world. When we look at junk our hearts become a junkyard, full of broken debris that cut away at us. When we look at what is dishonouring our hearts become a cage that tricks and traps us. When we spend our time on things that are vulgar, foul, crude, and whatever synonym you want to use, that is what we will continually seek out because that is where our hearts have made their home. And where we live eventually shapes us into who we will become. Conversely, if we set our minds on “whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,” excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) that is who we will shape ourselves into.
However, we can’t expect our interior to shine and sparkle if our door is always open to whatever the wind blows in. We must first readjust our focus. We must shake ourselves loose of the grips of the world and cast our gaze skyward. Only by training our eyes on Jesus, on the one who at this very moment is reaching out for our hearts, will we be able to renovate our souls. It can be so easy to get distracted by the glitz and glam, and in those moments it can be easy to fall back into old habits.
A phrase that I say a lot when I’m teaching someone how to ride is “Look where you want to go. If you want to go forward, look forward. If you look down, you’re going to go down.” Recently I’ve needed that reminder in my own life more and more. When I focus my heart and my eyes heavenward then I’m more in tune and aligned with God. When I lose sight of my Heavenly Father because my focus is on the world around me then I go down. We were not created to stare at our feet. We were created to set our sights on the word of the Lord, to follow his leading and accomplish the work he has prepared for us to do. By lifting our eyes to God, we are seeking his will for our lives. We are inviting the King’s best to work in and through us every day.
Look forward and upward. Don’t look backwards; you’re not going that way.