Life offers us so many things to know and experience. And while there is a seemingly endless list of things that we come to know through active learning, there is probably far more that we come to know simply through our senses. We understand the difference between rough and smooth not because we learned about it, but because we have touched it. It would be almost impossible to describe to someone who had no sense of touch. Bitter and sweet cannot be described, they must be tasted. The sound of a waterfall or a bubbling stream can only be heard, not learned. We learn quickly from our sense of smell that there are things we enjoy and things we want to avoid. And the only way to know about color is by sight.

Our senses are bombarded every day with a constant stream of this information on more levels than we can imagine. Much of this stream comes to us in ways we have no control over. The icy blast when we open the door during a snowstorm, the unwelcome road kill that seems to follow us as we drive, or the deafening sound of busy city streets and construction may not be welcome, but they may be unavoidable.

Our eyes may be the broadest entry point of all our senses. We constantly see and process everything before us whether we are aware of it or not. With so much to see it becomes imperative that we learn to be selective. We must choose what we look at, what we focus on.

There is much to see that would discourage us, frighten us, lead us to false conclusions, or tempt us to sin, and the sheer volume of it can easily overtake our souls. But in Hebrews chapter 12, verse 2 we are instructed to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

When we focus on Christ we are able to keep everything else in perspective. Our problems and struggles take their proper place under the power and authority of a Savior who loves us. We see miracles all around us. Creation holds a new wonder. People have eternal worth. Sunrises remind us of His new mercies for each day. Our ears recognize His voice and promises. We touch the hem of His garment and, in turn, share His healing with those around us. We become ourselves the very fragrance that we longed for and which gave us life. We taste and see that the Lord is good. So very good.

We lay aside the old and put on the new self which is being renewed by the Holy Spirit which He has given to live in us. There is nothing here that is tainted by pride. We have not earned or accomplished anything. We have simply received what He has provided. As we remain humble and dependent He creates something new and beautiful and full of peace.

So let us walk together in choosing well what we focus on. Each of us will experience days when our focus gets sidetracked. We need to be able to call on others to help. We need to remind each other of where to fix our gaze and encourage each other to walk in God’s mercy. Paul in Colossians wants our hearts to be encouraged, having been knit together in love, resulting in a true knowledge of Christ Himself. Christ has good things in store for us.

Hebrews 12:2; Lamentations 3:23; John 10:27; Matthew 9:20-22; 2 Corinthians 2:14-16; Psalm 34:8; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Colossians 2:2

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