A few years ago a friend of mine preached a sermon with this title.
I have heard many sermons since then, listened to a number of podcasts, and sat in dozens of church services. But these simple words, expressing this simple truth, have stayed with me and have often returned to my mind at pertinent times.
I believe that through the words ‘look up’, God spoke to me, and continues to speak to me.
This has become a powerful truth in my life. But I have become convinced more and more that it is not something that is just for me – it is a truth for all. It is a scriptural truth.
The psalmist writes:
I lift up my eyes to the hills-
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth
– Ps 121:1-3
We are so conditioned to look down. And I mean this both physically and philosophically. I’ve noticed this when walking through a shopping centre for instance. A large majority of people will be looking down at their phones or looking downcast and or looking down the way, endeavouring to get to that appointment, meeting or catchup.
It is a pleasant surprise when you receive a smile or nod from a random stranger who is looking up. Rarely do we take the time to look up. We are often distracted by the pressing needs around us, or the noise, the demands and the expectations we place upon ourselves, or what is coming next … or that deadline we have to meet. We don’t live in the moment.
What does it mean to look up?
It is more than living in the moment, more than optimism, more than not being preoccupied or busy. It is state of being. One that relies on the rock that is our God. That makes the choice to look to God. To walk with God in each day, to take refuge in the one who is our strength.
To look up is to say:
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
– Ps 18:1-2
With so many things to distract us in our world, we as Christians are to be different. Let us take the time today to be different – and look up.
May this truth be more than just words, but a truth we embrace in our daily lives.