One of my recent challenges has been learning to navigate the complicated maze of hallways in an extremely large complex. After my second near-miss employee collision, I began to pause and listen for footsteps as I approached hallway intersections. While this hesitation method was definitely more successful, it was not foolproof.
Recently, one of those near-miss encounters concluded with a subtle upward glance by the other party. At first, I thought it was a condescending “ugh, another newbie” eye roll. But, I soon discovered that this gesture actually was an attempt to direct my attention to an object under which I had obliviously passed countless times during my first week there. Taking a moment to examine this mirrored dome that protruded from the ceiling, I realized that not only could I see myself, but I also could see down every hallway. My eyes were opened as I walked back to my desk realizing that these mirrors were at every intersection throughout the building.
Over the next few days, every time I approached a hallway intersection, I uttered a simple exhortation, “Look up!” Each upward glance provided me the information I needed to discern both how and when I should move forward.
One evening as I walked down a hallway at the end of my shift, my mind drifted to a number of relational challenges in my faith journey. Deep in thought, I found myself mulling through the myriad of potential ramifications of decisions I might make. As I approached an intersecting hallway, instinctively I reminded myself, “Look up!”
Passing through the intersection without incident, the spiritual significance of that moment hit me. “Look up. That is what I need to do." I shook my head realizing the simplicity of the Holy Spirit’s invitation. “Look up and seek the counsel of the Lord.”
Continuing to walk, I was reminded of the unprecedented and extraordinarily difficult relational challenge that faced King Jehoshaphat. Considering the potential devastation of three armies simultaneously prepared to attack, he wisely prayed, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV). What was God’s gracious response to this intentional choice? Words of deep comfort and strong reassurance. And, as if that was not enough, God lavishly offered insight as to the strategy of the enemy and clear instruction as to a path forward in the situation. “'Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you’” (verses 16-17).
Perhaps you’ve been obliviously barreling through relational intersections where near-misses have abounded. May I offer you the simple invitation the Holy Spirit extended to me? “Look up.” “Child, look up.” Look up and seek the counsel of the Lord.
Ask with confidence knowing God's promise, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (33:3 NIV). Rest in the intentionality of His faithful love, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8 NIV). Receive this blessed assurance, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV). He will, indeed, show both 'how' and 'when' to move forward.
Today, look up and know, “The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (Psalm 121:8 NIV). Amen.
[Looking for more devotionals like this? Check-out 31 Days of Encouragement, available for purchase on-line. Sharing a devotional at the beginning of a rehearsal or a staff meeting is a great way to help people center their hearts and minds on eternal things!]