Look Up

Recently I’ve had a few back-to-back days that I would describe as distracting. You know those days, right? Where my list of things to do is so overwhelming that I start everything, complete nothing and am frustrated at the end of the day because I’m exhausted with no productivity. The more I chase these unfulfilling distractions, the further I find myself from my purpose in God.

Acts 17:27

Episodes like these squeeze the joy right out of me. They leave me empty, sad and with barely enough energy to want to try again tomorrow. That’s been my cadence these past few weeks. And it feels that the more I wait on God to pull me out, the more distracted I get. It’s utterly exhausting.

In an attempt to gain clarity and end this cycle, I’ve continued to take my morning runs with our younger rescue dog, Marley. He and I have an understanding for these runs. He doesn’t pull me and I don’t pull him unless he tries to take my arm off attempting to catch a squirrel. It’s a silent agreement and it works pretty well. Until the other day. When he saw a squirrel and bolted. As this scene is unfolding and I’m anticipating my arm being pulled out of joint, I can hear the flexi-leash snap. I know what’s coming next. I’ve been down this road before {only much closer to home the last time}. The leash broke and was beginning to wrap back up into the device with no way to retrieve it. Holding on to the empty leash, I lunged multiple times towards the moving end… which was getting shorter and shorter, returning back into the flexi-leash never to be seen again. Unsuccessful in my attempt, {but entertaining for the neighborhood} the leash won. It wrapped back inside, into the darkness.

There’s only one thing to do, pray that the broken leash left me a few feet of lead. So I lure Marley in with an over-the-top excited voice {slightly embarrassing for anyone in earshot}, he buys it and comes bounding back. At that point I quickly find the leash broke RIGHT at the clasp, leaving me nothing to hold on to as we make our 2 mile trek home.

There was only one choice, to head home, unleashed. As each block passes, I realize he notices his freedom more and more. But instead of venturing further than his leash would typically have allowed, he continued to stay close, stay focused on me and listen for my commands. Distractions were everywhere, for almost 2 miles, but instead he continued to look up. And together we crossed busy roads, refrained from chasing other squirrels and made it home safely.

Now stay with me, I promise there are some relatable similarities here. Much like Marley, we’re unleashed. God doesn’t keep us tethered to Him, we have free will. But because of experience, Marley knew that if he continued to look up, patiently waiting for me to guide him – I would get him home safely. Just like I had hundreds of times before. Despite the squirrels and distractions around him, he knew the only way home was to look up and allow me to lead him.

God does this same thing… but in a much bigger way. As life {society’s} distractions become more frequent and consume our days, we are pulled further and further from God. So much, that we sometimes abandon our God-given joy and purpose altogether. But we have a God to look towards, where distractions fade and peace returns. He has proven Himself time and time again. He is waiting to lead us. Whether it’s leading from ourselves, from our distractions, back onto His path… or to safety. He’s waiting with unwaivering guidance. All we need to do is look up with faith, trust and expectation.

Relevant Scripture: “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:27

Dear Lord, this life presents constant distractions that lead us further and further from You. Much like a sheep needs its shepherd to lead it to safety, or a dog needs its owner to lead it home – we need you to lead us to the path you have uniquely designed for us. Lord, remind us to look up. Amen.

Author: Carrie Kiekhaefer

I'm Carrie Kiekhaefer and I'm passionate about finding and reflecting JOY in this life. Unfortunately, I know a lot can get in the way of that JOY. Life is messy and complicated. I'm here as a messy child of God, a natural encourager, a blogger, a coach and a designer to help you navigate through the mess. With relevant scripture, a relationship with Jesus and some honest blogs we can find, let's discover and reflect His Joy - together.

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