I have two very talented and gifted girls. Both following their dreams. Both in the arts. One who when she dances sends a tingle down my spine and makes my eyes sweat. The other captures moments of life and creates a memory that will last. Both given their gifts by a loving and gracious God. Both make me very proud, and thankful God gave them to me to watch.
Today, actually a half hour or so ago I saw one of the most amazing things. To you it may not be such a big deal. To me, the mom, it was huge. My Photo Journalist daughter showed me some pictures she took today. I sat in awe, looking at the screen on my computer. There, in black and white, clear as all get out was the President of the United States. A photo of him at least, not just one but 3. She is at school and he happened to visit today. It was a big deal. Press passes were limited and getting close not promising. Somehow she managed to get pictures that are like those you would find Time Magazine. Again, my view-point.
It made me think of all that she has seen. All that we have seen in our lives. There are images that have been seared into our minds, others that take time to put together, like a puzzle. And those, those we visit over and over. The ones that are in print. Faded perhaps, worn from time spent in a wallet, or fresh, bright, and dazzling. Pictures are a moment, a click in our lives, capturing time that will never be again. Oh, the power. Pictures can evoke emotions. They can tell as story, change the world, touch a heart. Pictures are moments.
I have a very dear friend I don’t get to see much. Distance keeps us apart. Pictures keep us close. I have several of her and her family.I have pictures of many of our friends and their families. This one friend and her family have a bathroom on the main floor of their home. Interestingly you could get lost in this bathroom. You see, the walls are full of photos, photos of family, celebrations, years passed. As I dry my hands I stand and take in the life of this family, share in their memories. We all have a walls like that. If not walls, then shelves on bookcases. Frames filled with life, love, memories.
Like pictures, our eyes capture the world around us. The good and the bad. As parents we try to protect our children from seeing the bad. In time they see it, it is shocking, painful, and searing. Those moments are over shadowed however by the good. The beauty in our world, the love we have and share, the examples of those around us. Our eyes give us a view of the world only as we can see it. That view shouldn’t be clouded. It should be clear and focused. Proverbs 4:25 talks about our eyes and our gaze.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.”
Chapter 4 talks about a lot. But the eyes are what got me today. “Look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” How many times have you been talking and walking and tripped? Or run into a chair because you weren’t watching where you were going? How about texting and walking? Or looking at something, or someone passing by? There are so many distraction in the world around. Granted some good, some not so good. But here in Proverbs… straight ahead, directly before you.
My daughter knew what she wanted to do today. She wanted a good picture of the President. I wanted to see if there was anything wrong in the X-ray of my son’s hand. A family may have watched the concourse of the airport, looking for a loved one who has been away. In those instances, the focus was straight ahead, directly before us. Yet, often times, our view strays, our focus gets blurred, our eyes become dark. It can be a slow process, one we don’t realize, or an instant happening that catches off guard. Either way we want to regain focus, find our point of view, visually line ourselves back up.
A camera, an X-ray, or a crowded concourse, we find our focus, we look straight ahead, fixing our gaze on what we are looking for. Life, our life with Christ is mirrored in the same way. When our focus is not right, when we are distracted from what is good and clear, we stumble, we fall. But here in Proverbs and many other places in scripture we are told how to focus, what to look for and Who to look to. In doing that we can walk straight, see what is before us, and not stumble near as much. God and His Word are gifts, guides, and the lens we should look through.
As we watch life each day, I encourage you to look, to focus and to see all that is around you. You may have to stop. Now in looking around, find one spot, one thing to focus on, look at it. Know you are here, in this moment to see what is before you. If your vision is cloudy, if you are focused on what is around you and not before you, take a moment tilt your head back a smidge and “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” May it be Him and all He has for you, now and all your days.