Looking Too Far Ahead?

IMG_1183Sometimes I find myself pressing to know how the future unfolds. I want assurances that everything will work out according to my wouldn’t-it-be-grand hopes. Maybe you can relate. I know hobbits Sam and Frodo can.

Near the end of the movie The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, buddies Sam and Frodo are weak-kneed after battling everything from grotesque little Gollum (how can we ever forget “Preh-shhhhussss”?) to that massive, deadly spider. Battered and famished, the two companions reach the top of a ridge overlooking a valley swarming with enemy troops.

Across the horizon loom the flaming fires of Mount Doom—their long-anticipated destination. Sensing that Frodo is on the edge of giving up, Sam encourages his friend: “Come on, let’s just make it down the hill for starters.”

That’s what our steady God says to us when we’re drained and dismayed. “Let’s not look too far ahead; let’s just make it down this hill for starters.”

If you’re catching your breath at the top of the hill, linger a bit longer. Cast your eyes from the swarming obstacles ahead straight into the eyes of Jesus. The Bible’s Hebrews 12:2 encourages us: “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. . . .” A race that was won one hill and valley at a time.

Brave and Resilient Tip #133: Eyes of faith resist looking too far ahead.