Last week was not the kind of week I was hoping for. I was off work for the whole week ill. I had a bit of a health scare at the start of the week which thankfully dissolved into nothing serious, but none the less I was stuck in the flat feeling unwell. It was a week of cancelling arrangements and isolation. A week of trying to persuade my body to recover to my time scale, and being disappointed every day when it didn’t. By the end of the week I was fed up and frustrated.
In truth I spent most of the week looking down, focussed on what was wrong and how to fix it. I was weighed down by the every day, by doctor’s appointments, feeling ill and filled with frustration at missing work. I got tangled up in the worries of what, why and how long. My eyes were fixed on the ground and what was happening here and now. I’d lost all perspective.
Then as the week drew to a close, when I’d resigned myself to just keep my head down till Monday, I felt a nudge to raise my eyes upwards. I realised that what I needed to do most, right now, is look up. To take a deep breath and remember that we have a God who is far bigger than our problems and frustrations. To look up and see my worries in perspective.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the intricacies of everyday life, to become so self-absorbed and preoccupied that we loose sight of what’s important. We can miss so much by looking down. We can miss the opportunity to be grateful for all the things we’ve been blessed with, to celebrate the gifts and talents we’ve been given and the unique way we have been created. We can miss the chance to appreciate the wonderful people who are in our lives, to enjoy their company and remind them of their value. We can miss out on seeing our lives as part of a bigger story, to see the greater purpose, the many complicated paths that have brought us to this point. But most importantly we can miss out on a relationship with our almighty Father, who is waiting patiently for us to find time in our busy lives for Him, who is knocking on the door hoping we’ll hear and let Him in.
There is more to life than stress and deadlines, sickness and appointments, bills and worries. There is so much more to be found if we’re able to look up. To fix our eyes on God and live lives that fully grasp who we have been created to be. To take time out of the busyness and chaos to stop and listen to His whisper in our lives. And when we do, we’ll find that all the things we thought to be so important, fade into insignificance. We’ll realised that the person who is really in control can be trusted completely. His plans may not be our plans, and maybe He will lead us down different roads to the ones we would have chosen, but He is faithful and trustworthy. Maybe then we’ll hand over the reigns and stop fighting to make our lives fit the pattern we have in our heads. Maybe we’ll accept that we can’t do this in our own strength. We are more broken than we would have ever thought but more loved than we could possibly imagine. The solution to the aches in our hearts, the loneliness and inadequacies, fears and failures, can only be found by looking up.
Life will never be perfect. We will likely never hit the perfect images we have in our heads for our lives and our families. We may well be hit with wave after wave of unexpected events, tragedy, heart aches, stress and worry. And if we do keep looking down, these things will drown us. They will forever weigh us down. But maybe today we need to look up and fix our eyes on the one who is bigger than anything the storms of life can throw at us. Maybe today, like me, you need to start looking up.