Where are you looking?

Focus changes everything.  When my grandson and I hiked down a mountain in the Swiss Alps, he took me on a short-cut.

© Jane Foard Thompson
Kyle heading down the mountain

As Kyle jumped on ahead with the beloved family Wheaten, Caitlin,
I concentrated on my footing, on the narrow, untracked pathway.

Kyle and Caitlin on mountain

After a while, Kyle stopped and asked me what I saw. I planted my walking pole, then looked up, to discover a beautiful view of the valley which I had missed, watching my feet, with careful, little steps.

© Jane Foard Thompson
view into village from mountainside

He asked, “What else can you see?”
I noticed the snow on the trees and bushes.

© Jane Foard Thompson
snowy trees in Swiss Alps

Kyle smiled and pointed to a spot near my boot. “Look closer.”

© Jane Foard Thompson
stone marker on mountainside

We continued to work our way down the mountain. (Well, I worked my way down. Kyle hopped, skipped, slid on his little sled and jumped off anything high enough to climb.) He stopped me several times along the way to point out more stacked-stone trail markers. On his fourth stop, I finally found the mini marker without his help.

© Jane Foard Thompson
close up of stone trail marker

Later, when my husband and I scanned pictures from walks in villages near Zürich, I was struck by the different shots taken from the same place.

© Jack H Thompson
wood pile in Switzerland

Hubby focused on a wood pile, then looked up and found beautiful sights off in the distance, including a farm by a lake.

© Jack H Thompson
farm by lake in Switzerland

Absorbed in our struggles, trials and fears, we can easily become stuck, focused close-in. Like seeing the imperfections in the wood, instead of the beauty of trees by a lake, we can feel trapped or overburdened, with no awareness of the greater meaning in our lives, or hope for something new.

© Jack H Thompson
opening in trunk
© Jack H Thompson
tree on landscape in Switzerland

Sometimes we become so intent on a problem or situation that we miss the larger view.

© Jack H Thompson
tree trunk in Switzerland
© Jack H Thompson
pruned trees in Switzerland

Haven’t we learned by now that trying to plan everything in detail, working hard to do everything in our control to make it “right” won’t actually fix anything?

Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.                                                                                                                  Colossians 3:2 The Message (MSG)

Instead, when we seek Jesus, and look at what he is doing and follow him, we get the wide-angle, bigger picture.

© Jack H Thompson
view of lake near Zürich

Seek the Lord and His strength; yearn for and seek His face and to be in His presence continually!                                                                                                                                            I Chronicles 16:11     Amplified Bible

As we watch Jesus, the circumstances may not change, but the scene before us does. That shift of viewpoint can bring peace to our hearts and minds, as well as greater health to our bodies and spirits.

Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way.     Psalm 16:11 The Message (MSG)

3 thoughts on “Where are you looking?

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