It was only mid-morning and she was already dragging her feet in her small blue boots, a ragged doll under her arm. Her words muffled by the pacifier in her mouth, she made it clear that she did not intend to walk any further. We were on our way home from the grocery store and I was pulling a heavy grocery trolley with one hand and carrying a large shopping bag with the other. Against all knowledge, I tried rational arguments. “Remember, I carried you to the store, but told you that you had to walk home, because I am carrying groceries now.” “This is all the walking you have to do today, it is not so bad, is it?” “We are almost there...” I should have known better. In her beautiful little head, emotions precede logic. “I want you to carry me, NOW!”
Then, something almost magical happened. Her older brother, who had been listening in to our conversation, just took off like a bolt of lightning. “Come Livia, let´s run!” Her eyes lit up. Impatiently, she passed me her doll and there she went, running after her brother. Screams of delight echoed through the street.
Let us run with endurance, fixing our eyes on Jesus...
A fragment of the text from Hebrews 12 came to me in that moment. What a beautiful image! All she needed to endure the way home, was to fix her eyes on something that gave her joy - her brother challenging her to race him. It gave her purpose and new strength. I was perplexed by the sudden transformation.
Later, as I reflected more on this, I realized how relevant this text is for our everyday lives.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” (Hebrews 12: 1 - 2)
Imagine what we can do if we keep our eyes on Jesus. Every day. Every moment of the day. If we do not allow our minds to get bogged down by all the little problems we encounter. If we bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10: 5) and allow him to transform our mind. We will gain new perspective and see what really matters. We receive strength to navigate the challenges that day. We find contentment in focusing in on the essential, the life-giving. We fix our eyes on that which gives joy, true joy.
Photo cred: Geri Lindberg