Time For God: Day 7

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Psalm 123:1
Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens.
My driving instructor was exceptionally patient. As a 17-year old High School student, I could afford only one series of ten weekly lessons. I could access no car, nor any other driver to help me practice what I learned. Should I fail my road test, I could afford no more lessons, nor the cost of re-testing.

I don’t think my instructor had a military background. However, he taught me like a Sergeant. He used memorable drills. Mirror-signal-maneuver, he repeated over again. Move only after checking your mirror! And, always signal your intentions first!  

Whenever I drove around a wobbly corner faster than I should, he insisted: Slow with the feet and fast with the hands! He repeated, Drive only within your skill level! In every lesson I repeated aloud his slogans as I drove gingerly forward.

The car we used was a stick shift model. It complained loudly when I crashed into another gear. Listen to the engine, it tells you what it wants! I listened hard. I slowly learned the language of automobile.

Look only where you want to go! Where your eyes look this car will take you! His reminders sharply brought my focus back. I stared hard in the direction I aimed for.

How easy it is to allow the weight of worry and stress to shift your gaze downward. Then you focus on the wrong things! Your life follows the direction of your focus. In Psalm 3, David declares, But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens.

In today’s Song of Ascents, the psalmist aims for his target. He’s going up to Jerusalem. He will worship the Lord. He knows his will path follow the trajectory of his gaze. So he prays, Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens.

What life-giving truths emerge for you today? Where will you focus the eyes of your heart? On this day, how might you seek to bring new life into the gaze of others?

Lord of life, I choose to stand beneath the cross of Christ. I lift my eyes to you, Lord. Thank you for purchasing my pardon and my redemption. Father, you map my future direction by the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, my Comforter, Teacher, and Guide. Amen.

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