“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.” Psalm 3:3
I’ve never been much of a runner. I could never understand the type of discipline it took to plod along the hard pavement
for miles on end. Then a few years ago I discovered ‘trail running’ which really connected with my love of the woods. I
quickly found out that this type of running took a different kind of focus than road running. There is always a root or a
rock along the path and the trail has more twists and turns, ups and downs, lefts and rights then I would ever find on the
streets of Williamsport. However, I also found that if I ONLY focused on the few feet in front of me I missed out on the
beauty of the woods, the feel of the trail and the anticipation of what was ahead. Slowly, I developed a rhythm of looking
back and forth between the short view and the long view as I took in the whole experience while staying safe and upright
along the run.
It’s a discipline we need to adopt in the local church, particularly as we head into what are typically the ‘busy months’ of
the fall. Often I find myself getting distracted by the details that are right in front of me today and I begin to obsess over
all that I need to do. Sometimes I find myself falling into a hypnotic state of only dealing with whatever presents itself in
the moment. I forget to take the long view and I lose sight of the beauty of ministry.
I admit, it takes a certain amount of trust to keep looking up and taking the long view but it is so necessary that we don’t
forget the purpose of our journey – to connect people with Jesus Christ and to transform the world around us with His
love. When we forget to look around, we don’t see how God is truly using us to accomplish that mission.
May God continue to lift your head to see the joy and possibilities that God has on the path ahead.