The alarm was set, but I am up long before its intended alert. A restless night does not bode well for an early morning run. Not only am I sleep-deprived, but my legs are screaming for another day of rest. As I drink my coffee I debate: to run or not to run, that is the question. Reluctantly, I surrender to wisdom that says don’t push it today. This is difficult because I have a plan. I have my goals outlined and my runs scheduled.
It’s easy for me to get tunnel vision. Even though the track I run is simple, making it unlikely to get off track and impossible to get lost, I find many days that my focus literally stays on the track. I don’t have to look at it to know where it turns or where the inclines will be. I’ve run it often enough to be comfortable on it. Yet I am often so fixed on counting my laps, watching my time, and accomplishing my goal that I rarely look up and I miss most of what is around me. The grace of the duck on the water. The stillness of the rabbit in the grass. The calm of the small waves on the lake. This beautiful surrounding gets lost on me when I am fixed only on my purpose to run.
Tunnel vision is something I have to guard against. I can be so focused on the task at hand that I completely miss what’s going on around me! I pray for God to use me to encourage and minister to others, yet when I’m out and about with my list of things to do, many times all I see is my list of things to do and I completely miss the people around me – the very people that I can encourage and share His love with!
Walking this path as a Jesus follower does require our attention and focus. We must fix our eyes on the purpose He has for us and we must guard our steps. But the longer we walk with Him and learn His ways, the more we can find rest and ease on this path we follow. He raises our heads and opens our eyes to see more of Him along the way – His grace, His peace, His beauty. The more we see of Him, the more our eyes will be open to where this path going. It is taking us to our greatest purpose, the one that should capture our attention every day – it is leading us to others who need Him.
I’m too sleepy to be productive and too awake to go back to sleep. I strongly dislike this limbo land. I struggle to focus enough to ready my devotional, which is normally how I start my mornings. Laying down my book, I look out the window to find the darkness beginning to leave and I decide to grab my camera and flip-flops, reheat the half cup of coffee I have left, and take a walk where I normally run.
There’s a cool breeze blowing as I slowly walk the track. I stop on the side that’s nearest the lake and watch as the clouds on the horizon turn a beautiful shade of pink. Squirrels cross my path as I meander on further and walk out on the pier. I’m fixed on a different purpose this morning – a determination to take it all in and let Him have His way with this day. I breathe in His peace with the breeze and enjoy the anticipation of the kiss from heaven that is about to break forth. This morning isn’t going as I planned. But it doesn’t disappoint.