Monday, January 26, 2009

eyes on the prize

Friday morning I was driving down Alexander St. through a neighborhood in my city when I noticed that the driver's side mirror of on of the cars parked on the side of the road up ahead was cracked.  I'm not really sure what intrigued me about the cracked mirror of this little black car so much.  Cracked mirrors aren't that uncommon, especially for people who parallel park on busy streets.  Nevertheless, as I approached the car I continued to look at the broken mirror.  I noticed that the crack was actually an entire shard of glass missing from the mirror's center.  Then, to my surprise, just as I was passing the car I heard a crash -- my mirror completely took the entire mirror assembly off the other car.  The glass face ended up on my windshield.

I rounded the block, met the car owner (who happened to be looking out her window at the exact time that I took out her driver's side mirror), exchanged insurance info, and got on with life.

But I continue to be attracted to the analogy inherent in this story, especially after recent conversation with a friend about Peter's brief water-walking stint.  It's all about keeping your eyes on Jesus.

Sometimes we can get so caught up with the things going on around us.  In trying to live diligent, holy lives as Christians we can begin to focus too much on the boundaries of our narrow path, rather than focusing on the goal.  Our walk can become about staying on the path -- about the path itself -- rather than about Jesus.

In a sense, this is the trap of legalism that the Galatians fell into, the reason Paul rants at them:  "You foolish Galatians!"

In another sense this is the beauty of our earthly lives from 2 Corinthians 4 - that though we endure painful trials here, along the path we've been given to walk, the end is glory, the end is eternal, the end is Christ.  "Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For out light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

And so we see what crazy language the Spirit inspires to speak of the intensity of our focus on the prize.  How can we set our eyes on things unseen?  And yet we do, we somehow understand, and we rejoice in making it our goal to please Him.

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