Have you ever noticed what a difference it can make to change your gaze?
Last Saturday I had a terrible afternoon. It shouldn’t have been that way since I had free time and I was with my family. The thing is, we were watching our Ohio State Buckeyes and they were playing poorly, just as they have every Saturday for a month. Never mind that they are reigning national champions and currently ranked first in the country, the fact that the Buckeyes were playing terribly was blowing my entire day.
Somehow the Buckeyes pulled off the victory that day, and I pulled myself together and left the premises for a blood pressure adjustment. Why do I get so caught up in a football game anyway? (For a fun post about the Buckeyes, check my old post here).
Today the Buckeyes played in the noon time slot. We had been working all morning to clear a path in the woods when we stopped to ride the ATV to my cousins’ house for lunch and football. Would you believe the Buckeyes were looking lousy again? I could feel myself getting pulled into the game and the frustration starting to build as they failed to complete their passes and turned over the ball.
But this time I knew what I needed to do. I grabbed my sandwich, ate quickly, and returned to the woods. Today was a glorious fall day. The temperature was just right for a hoodie as the sun made is way through the trees to the forest floor. The leaves were beginning to fall, and our cousin was just starting to harvest the corn. I love the fall! This was an ideal day filled with many of my favorite things. Why would I even consider getting wrapped up in a frustrating ballgame?
Let me share a few pictures with you from my day:
Our ol’ dog Jake can’t run to the woods anymore. He has to walk or ride the gator, but he thoroughly enjoys spending the day at the farm. Sometimes I wonder if he misses my dad who has been gone three years now. Dad used to run Jake to the woods and back, racing him with a golf cart.
Kids and trees. Climbing and measuring trees all day.
That one time the kids heard their mom yell, “Run!!” and she meant it! Cooper pushed over a tree and can you believe it fell straight toward all of us? (This is why we train our kids to obey the first time!)
Transplanting a buckeye tree
What farmers do for speed.
Three in a tree!
Abby went out after the combine and picked up lost ears of corn. She is planning to keep our bluejays nice and plump this winter!
So there you have it. That’s a taste of my day: stress free, fresh air, exercise, sunshine…and all because I changed my gaze away from football (they won again by the way, but without my supervision) and toward something that could bring me peace.
Of course there is a spiritual application! It’s easy for me to dwell on problems, frustrations, regrets, and conversations that were less-than-perfect. When I do this my worry wart begins to blossom and threatens my sense of well-being. When I choose to look away, however, and dwell on the things of God, I regain my peace. Romans 8:6 tells us the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. I can attest to that. I refer to this as Philippians 4:8–ing it. Here is the verse that lets know where to fix our gaze:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
I hope you had a day filled with glimpses, or even a long, sustained gaze at the Savior. Often our well-being is all in the gaze. More to come another day. It’s late, and I had a full (and wonderful) day!
Check out this song by For King and Country. They’ve figured out where to fix their gaze.