“EYES UP!”  You may have heard one of the Adventure Guides say this while out rock-hopping on a canyon, or perhaps while you’re shimmying your butt to the edge of a 25’ jump.  So what does it mean?  Are we warning you to duck as a chunky squirrel hurls itself towards you at lightspeed?  Or as Superman is flying across the glistening sky?  Though there is always that slim chance, that’s not quite what we mean. (99.9% of the time at least).

Allow me to set the scene for you.  You’re out canyoneering with your group.  It’s beautiful in the most rugged way.  The sky is a brilliant blue, the water is a sparkling emerald green, but you, not wanting to slip, focus each crucial step on the path ahead.  While looking down at your feet, you bump into your buddy in front of you, almost toppling the both of you over.  You think to yourself, “A traffic jam in the canyon?  Oh!  Or perhaps our guide has a new tunnel or jump to show us!”  But no, you look up to see your guide perched high up on a boulder, staring down at everyone with their grisly summer-toothed grin.  “What are they doing up there?” you think to yourself.  “Is it lunch time?” Your Guide then calls everyone to their attention and exclaims in their loudest raspy voice, “Heyyy youuu guysssssss!  I know we’ve been hiking for awhile now.  But I want us all to stop and look around!  Look at the beauty of the canyon we’re in!  Eyes up everyone!  Eyes up!” At this you lift your eyes from your feet to see just how gorgeous it truly is!  Your heart and soul are refreshed by this beautiful reminder to take in your surroundings, to see with your own eyes God’s creation.

Though this is a very practical way to reconnect with your physical surroundings, there is also a powerful spiritual aspect to it.  You see, so often we find ourselves going through life with our heads down, solely focused on the next step ahead of us, and we miss out on the beauty all around.  We forget to keep our eyes on God.  To keep our eyes up.

“I keep my eyes always on the LORD.  With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

              When we look to the Lord and keep our focus on Him, not only does life seem to glisten and shimmer a bit brighter, but we find strength and endurance.  Courage to face adversity, and a fulfilling purpose.  Our whole life falls in line with the Lord’s desires for us when we maintain our focus on Him rather than the throes of life.  God wants us to seek Him.  To look to Him for comfort and peace, and He will faithfully provide that as our Heavenly Father.  God asks us to cast our cares on Him, and when we do, He shows us His miraculous love and mercy.

“You have said, “Seek my face.”  My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek” Psalm 27:8

              So, why do we look towards God rather than our worries in life?  Because He promises to care for us.  1 Peter 5:7 says it perfectly, “Pour out all your worries and stress upon Him and leave them there, for He always tenderly cares for you.”  There’s this really cool thing that happens when we take the focus off ourselves and look to God.  We find peace and joy in every circumstance!

Finally, I want to leave you with a practical application.  As it’s the beginning of the new year, we set goals for ourselves.  We fight to get back to the unrealistically fast-track of our day-to-day grind.  We feel good about it too!  And it is good!  But let us not forget the most crucial part.  Keeping our eyes fixed upon the Lord.  For if you seek first the kingdom of God, all these things shall be added unto you.

EYES UP when life is fantastic and you’re cruising along as planned!

EYES UP when life gets difficult, and you struggle to find your way again.

EYES UP!  PERIOD!  For when we look towards God, we will find His hand reaching out for us, to pick us back up and lead the way.

I hope this simple reminder becomes a constant mantra in your heart the way it has for me!  Now go live life for the Lord and look always towards His shining face!