Look to the Heavens
Look to the Heavens

Look to the Heavens

Look to the Heavens

Our family had a short outing early this week to St. Louis, trying to maximize time with our oldest while he’s home from college. Once there, we started at the Gateway Arch. We toured the museum, took the elevator to the top, then walked around the grounds and the base of the Arch. It’s truly astounding how huge the Arch is. It stands over 600 feet tall (the Washington Monument is 555). From the top you can see 30 miles in any direction. The arch is even designed to sway 18 inches in the wind (no thanks).

The moment when it felt the largest though was when we were standing at the base. One son noted, “it’s hard to look up at it.” And it was true. Our natural inclination is to look up and stare at something so impressive, so majestic, a shining display of ingenuity. We naturally look up, and yet it’s also hard to look up. My neck starts to ache. The sun reflects off the stainless steel skin of the arch, forcing me to squint. The brightness of the blue sky also fatigues my eyes. Leaning back to look up and trying to take it all in puts pressure on my lower back in a funny way (I’m sounding older than I am). The size of it all looming over me causes a slight dizzying effect. It’s not long before I have to look back down to take a break from the effort. We naturally want to look up, and yet looking up is hard.

As I reflected on this experience, I thought of Psalm 119:36-37. “Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in Your ways.”

We naturally are inclined to ‘look up’ toward God’s greatness, and yet I’m also weak in my ability to look for very long. My heart, like my neck and lower back, is easily fatigued. What I need is for God to work to “incline my heart” more and more towards Him, rather than ‘worthless things.’ We look up toward Him, even when it’s hard because of the plea of this verse: “give me life in Your ways.” Though it can be hard to turn from the worthless toward the majestic, we also know that in Him we find real life.

A Peculiar People

My prayer today is that each of us would pause and pray these verses in Psalm 119 and we would experience the fullness of life and joy that comes as a result. As Colby pointed out Sunday, we are called to be a ‘peculiar’ (or, set apart) people for God’s purposes (See I Peter 2:9). When we walk in the fullness of life, when true joy is spilling out of us, we can’t help but be a light to our community, to spread the joy of the Gospel all throughout the south end of Louisville!

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