Often when I hear the words “LOOK OUT”, I automatically get into defense mode. Harm is coming (I don’t know in what form), but right away my body tenses up, my mind goes into survival mode, and I’m ready to attack.
I can think of one incident in particular, where “looking out” maybe didn’t end the way I had hoped. When I was in college, I had the privilege of working on the family’s farm for the summer with my sister and cousin. On any given day, we were given random tasks to do and we LOVED it. Did I really mind scooping poop? Not really because we would bring our little boom box out and jam to the tunes, while we conquered the job together. And not to mention, lots of laughter to add with it.
Well, one day we were given the task to take out nails from the roof of the barn, so that the tin could be replaced. We pulled the truck up to the side of the roof and I worked on pulling out the nails on the edge, while my cousin and sister sat up top, pulling out those. We were joking around as always and then all of a sudden I hear “HEADS UP!” I translated that as LOOK OUT, danger is coming! If someone says head’s up, well, I put my head up. When in reality, that saying is such a lie… we should look DOWN because that means something’s about to HIT the head. Me being the not-so-smart one, looked up and THUNK.
A hammer was dropped, slid down the roof, and nailed my head, prong side first. You know those cartoons when the main character falls and birdies are flying in circles above them? Yeah…that’s how I would describe it too. After the initial headache went away, all we could do was laugh! A memory we knew would last a lifetime!
But that’s not the looking out that I want us to remember. I want to talk about a different “looking out.”
When I got nailed in the head with that hammer, my mind went into okay, just get past the pain and it’ll get better. And it’s true! But so often in life, we so easily get stuck in our situations and circumstances, that we forget to look beyond the current moment, assuming it’ll never end.
I have these moments often. I can easily get stuck in the weariness of heart disease. I can easily get stuck in the feelings of mundane days. I can easily can stuck in my relationship with God, and need a little kick in the pants.
But one thing (out of a million) that Christ has taught me, was that even though He was in the middle of a crucifixion, he didn’t just get stuck in the moment. He looked out. He knew he had to become obedient to death – even death on a cross. He knew he was going to die. He knew the horror that was coming. Yet he continued to look beyond the moment, persevered, and looked up to his heavenly Father.
Okay, my life’s struggles don’t hold a candle to what Christ has gone through. And I am so thankful that he has set for me, an example to follow, when it comes to “looking out.” Seeing beyond our current state. The current moment. Christ envisioned eternity. He knew where his citizenship was. Not here on this earth, where momentary struggles prevail. His citizenship, JUST LIKE OURS, belongs in heaven.
Are you living in defense mode of looking out and waiting for the next shoe to drop? Or hammer? I know I often am. And that’s something I wrestle with in my heart daily. But I want to live my life looking out in an eternal way, envisioning that God is painting a bigger picture.
I want to look beyond the current moment. The current task. The current struggle or pain. Because when looking out, there is this beautiful horizon, this gift of eternity, that will never fade. Don’t chase the things that will fade away. Look out and keep your gaze on eternity. Trust me, it will have eternal rewards!