Hebrews 12:1-2: “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…”
Let’s say that you’re dead. And let’s say that you’re having a conversation with Jesus.
What kind of question do you think he would ask to evaluate your success at navigating this trying chapter of life?
Would it be ‘How perfectly did you navigate online learning or homeschooling?’ or ‘Did you avoid getting sick?’ or ‘What was your faultless approach to handling restrictions, passports and vaccine debates?’ or ‘Did you have a picture perfect time with your family and friends?’ or ‘Did you pretend you were always okay, immune from problems, and stuff your true feelings deep down inside?’
No, no, no, and no.
My guess is that with love in his heart he would ask you something like this: ‘Did you keep your eyes fixed on me?’
One of the great temptations in life is to evaluate our “success” based on the wrong things. Sure, we want to succeed in a lot of different ways. But when our focus falls away from Jesus, what happens is that our failings, missteps and worries grow in our minds to an unhealthy degree and size. We turn them into measuring rods and evaluative tools. As such, they become disproportionate to reality. They become a peace thief. We put more stock in them than we should.
In the end, it all goes back in the box. Your body even goes in a box! (Or an urn or something like that; you know what I mean). When that happens, looking back from heaven, we’ll wonder why we spent so much time stressing about being “successful” in things that didn’t matter that much.
‘Did you keep your eyes fixed on me?’
–My latest PODCAST is called “How can I make rest happen when I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel?” This was a question I answered at the Q & A Forum at Westminster Church on December 5, 2021. Click here to listen, or look for ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you subscribe to podcasts: iTunes (Apple), Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or TuneIn.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.