There were two runners in a race. Each runner was given the instructions of where to finish farther down the beach. The runners were informed that they would not be judged on how quickly they got to the finish line, but rather they would be judged on who’s line of footprints were the straightest from starting point to finish line.
If you grew up in the mid-nineties to early 2000’s you are sure to have seen or heard this very illustration at some point and know how it ends.
The starting gun shot goes off, runner one carefully takes a gentle step on to the sand with her left foot followed by a precise step of her right foot placed toe to heel making sure to be in alignment with her left foot. Then again, another step being careful to stay as straight as possible and continued down the beach to the finish line in the same fashion. Cautiously, placing one foot in front of the other painfully aware of how straight her footprints were going to be all the while determining her next step by the alignment of the previous steps, looking up occasionally and aiming for the finish line accordingly.
Runner number two, hears the starting gun shot and without hesitation looks up, locks eyes with her target, the finish line, and runs…
At the end of the story we come to find out that the runner who carefully and precisely measured her steps ended up swerving and weaving all over the beach before she made it to the finish line. Her line looked more like a traveling snake than a line at all. She was so focused on the tiny steps she lost track of the big picture. She would lose sight of her final destination and instead measured her success from each individual step.
But runner 2…
She was so focused on her destination, her finish line that her path was completely straight…
Have you ever heard the phrase “If you aim for nowhere, nowhere is where you will go.”?
I love that illustration of the runners above. I believe that it brings so much clarity and hope to my soul when I remember it. I don’t know about you, but there are definitely times throughout my life I can look back (sometimes I don’t have to look very far, ha) where I may have been a little to focused on the “things” around me and not had my eyes so perfectly locked with Jesus. I allowed the busyness, chaos or just plain life around me distract me from the very things I knew God was wanting me to focus on. Those things were not inherently bad, sometimes those “things” were my family, my business, my volunteer hours or time spent at church, cleaning, cooking, kids activities, you name it. The problem wasn’t so much what I was doing, it was that I had allowed myself to drift my focus from where it should have been, over to the checklist of my to-dos. I was too focused on those single steps in my life when I should have just lifted my eyes and stayed focused on my target, my Jesus.
Have you ever known those people that even with all chaos, crazy schedules or even the unknown surrounding them, they are still at total peace? You know the ones I mean, they are genuinely at peace, not shaken or stirred easily. Maybe there has even been a time in your life where that was you. If that was ever you, I would like to invite you to look back and ask yourself, ‘Where was my focus?’
How many times do we get so wrapped up in making sure that those individual tasks are accomplished, correct and completed that we miss our mark and have to back track and redirect ourselves?
How many times do we seek and ask God what He would like us to be doing, He gives us a direction and then off we go. Often times we get so focused on being a human doing instead of being a human being? Um, guilty…
You know the really amazing things about those two runners? They both still made it to the finish line. They both ended up where they were supposed to be. There was no shame in the first runner having to realign to make it to the end. They did it.
That is the amazing thing about God our Father is He is always ready to help us realign when we look up. In fact, I believe He is calling out, trying to get us to look up to help us to know to realign ourselves. There is no shame. No guilt. Just love.
Is there something you need to look up from today? Do you feel the Father trying to get you attention today? Look up sis. Keep going. You can trust Him. Look up.
Written By: Alexandria Brown
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