“Daddy?” asked Caleb. “Can we go exercisin’?”
I like to run after work, and there are times when I get home, throw on some jogging clothes and go for a quick run around the block. Most of the time Caleb would ask, “Daddy, are you going exercisin’?” I’d respond, “Yes.”
A few years ago, Caleb wanted to go running. He donned his jogging shorts, a Barney tee shirt and his running shoes. “Let’s go, Daddy!” He was ready to run around the block.
At four years old, his style of running was “unperfected”. He was weaving and stumbling occasionally. But, he was exercising.
As we ran, I’d let him take the lead, and I followed closely behind. When he ran, he would often turn his head to see where I was. In doing so, he would stray off the sidewalk onto someone’s yard, nearly missing a mailbox or a parked car.
As we stopped during one of our frequent breaks, I told Caleb that he should always look forward when he was running. I explained that looking back would cause him to slow down and stray off course.
So, we did a running drill. I told to look at a lamppost off in the distance. “Now, focus on that lamppost. It’s your goal. Don’t look back to see how I’m doing. Just focus on the lamppost.” He agreed, “Okay Daddy.”
With his elbows swinging and his little legs chugging along, he ran straight for the lamppost. Even when I talked to him as he ran, he wouldn’t turn back and look. He ran straight for the lamppost, and a tad bit faster, I might add.
The lesson Caleb learned yesterday is a lesson for us as well. When running this race called life, we should not look back. Whether it’s a haunting past or a chance to eye the competition, looking back can be dangerous. In focusing on our past, we lose sight of the Goal. Looking back slows us down and can stray us dangerously off course. Rather, we should keep our eyes on the lamppost.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1b-3).
Prayer: Lord, help me keep me eyes on the goal. Guard my heart from distractions and the anything that would throw me off course.