Fix Your Gaze Before You

Yael Eckstein  |  January 29, 2021

Let your eyes look straight ahead;
     fix your gaze directly before you
. — Proverbs 4:25

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Hebrew Bible known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

My family and I often like to hike in our beautiful homeland. One time, we tackled a steep mountain and one of my children was really struggling to keep going. Thankfully, my husband saved the day by giving us all some great advice.

He said that the best way to climb a mountain is by looking straight ahead, at what is right in front of us. Looking down might be scary as we notice how high we are. Looking behind us will blind us to any obstacles up ahead. Looking up can be discouraging when we see how far we still have to go. Yet, we can climb even the tallest mountains if we simply fix our eyes on what is directly ahead and focus on taking one step at a time.

We followed my husband’s suggestions and reached the top of the mountain peacefully and joyfully. As we climbed, I thought about how his advice was also perfect for how we might live our lives and accomplish our goals.

Fix Your Gaze Before You

Similarly, Scripture advises us to, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” In life, it is helpful to focus on what is right in front of us. Of course, there are times when we need to look at the bigger picture so that we can adjust our direction or appreciate how far we have come, but most days it is helpful to focus on the present.

If we focus on the past, we can become stuck in it. We can feel bogged down by past mistakes or hurts. If we focus too much on the future, we can become overwhelmed by how much more we still need to do or worry about how things will work out. Overly focusing our attention on what is behind, under, or way ahead of us can leave us confused and disoriented in the present. It’s best to stay in the moment and live our lives one day at a time, trusting God for His unlimited mercy, day by glorious day.

When we choose to stay focused on our next steps, we can move forward with less worry, more peace, less negativity and more happiness. And in this way, we can keep going and accomplish anything!

Your Turn:

Start the New Year off right by helping you and your family learn how to set priorities. Download a sample lesson from my new family-friendly guide, the Generation to Generation Workbook, the companion piece to my book, Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children.

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