Our path was layered with thousands of red, yellow, brown, and orange-colored tree tears. My friend and I started to climb yet another steep hill whose sometimes calf-level leaves hid all manner of tricksters—branches, deep ruts, prickly vines, stones in sandy soil, loose pebbles, and slippery mud. Our eyes were glued to our path, our forward motion in the leaves making an amplified cereal-smacking sound. Suddenly we heard commotion above and to our left from the high barren trees.
We stopped in our tracks and swung our heads around just in time to see two beautiful eagles swoop up and away from their secluded nests.
After the eagles were out of sight, their glory no longer ours to observe, my friend said, "We need to look up more! Just think about how many birds up there we are missing!"
"How can we look up from these trails?!" I asked as we began to walk again, my eyes once more glued to my path. She laughed and continued to look up occasionally, even if it meant stopping sometimes to do so.
Something lodged in my spirit. It made me wonder about my life. Do I remember to look up when my path is tumultuous? When trials come, do I keep my eyes glued soley on my stoney path, trying hard in my own strength to navigate it all? Or do I slow down? Stop. And remember to look up to the One who wants to help me (Hebrews 4:16)? To the One who will hold my hand or even carry me (Psalm 28:9)? To the One who will put my feet on a firm path (Psalm 40:2)? The One who will point out all the gifts still swirling around me and Who is still in control, despite my situation (Job)?
When I focus only on the rough dirt and potholes, I miss eagles flying overhead. I miss trusting in the One who seeks relationship with me.
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber." Psalm 121:1-3