Stop looking at that clock!
The sound of our teacher's voice called us back to reality. With summer vacation only two days away it was hard to focus. Two more days of school, then all the baseball-playing, bike-riding, tree-climbing, and hanging out with friends you could ever want. Not to mention the picnics, fishing, and vacation! Growing up in small-town Royal, Nebraska, vacation for my family sometimes meant a trip to the mountains; the Black Hills of SD, even better we'd drive out to Colorado to visit the Rocky's. Whether it was the Black Hills or the Rocky's, as we drew near the mountains the back seat of the car would grow strangely quiet. Quiet because the three occupants, the three Mitteis' boys, were focused; eyes trained on the horizon, squinting and straining to be the first to spot a mountain, and the first to shout, "There they are!"
Yet today, summertime still means both work and play. And with so many things going on it's easy to lose focus. For example: If you're the one who sits in the driver's seat, going to a place you've never been before, it's easy to get off track. Or if you're in the back, keeping a lookout for the mountains (or whatever it might be) you could get distracted by something else. Point is, this summer whether you work or play, don't lose your focus on God. For example, just think of the time the Apostle Peter lost proper focus when Jesus called him to walk on water. Out of the boat went Peter and step, step, step . . . when his eyes were on Jesus, no problem. But then the wind and waves distracted him. Fear set in and Peter began to sink. What will summer bring for you this year? Fact is, when the waters calm, our hearts and minds are prone to focus more on creation . . . than on the Creator. Or maybe, because this summer the going gets tough. What then? Will you doubt God's care like Peter?
God's solution: "Fix your eyes on Jesus." I'm not saying you have to spend hours and hours every day reading the Holy Bible. At our Lord's ascension the disciples were, "Looking intently up into the sky as Jesus was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight." But then the angel reminded them that Jesus would soon return. Until that day, there was work to be done. So they returned to Jerusalem to take up that work. Whatever the circumstances we are to look to Jesus. Set aside time in your summer schedule for Jesus. Whether it be reading a devotion, or reading a chapter a day from the gospels, or becoming more intentional about prayer . . . weekly church and Sunday school take precedence in your family life. "Hold God's word sacred; gladly hear and learn it." This summer . . . Keep your eyes on Jesus!
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