What Your Eyes See
A reflection from Psalm 1
“[B]ut his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2, ESV).
I used to run track in high school—the 300-meter hurdles race was my best event. I remember the coach telling me, “When you round the bend, keep your eyes on the finish line. Don’t look around to see where the other runners are. Look straight ahead and give it all the gas.” That advice seems to pop up in all sorts of ways.
“Keep your eye on the ball.”
“Keep your eyes on the road.”
“Keep your eye on the basket.”
“Keep your eyes on the target.”
“Keep an eye on your little sister!”
Even the author of Hebrews gave this advice: “And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…” (Heb 12:1-2, NLT).
Psalm 1 tells us the blessed man delights in God’s law and meditates on it day and night. His heart and mind are focused on God’s Word. His thoughts mull over and consider God’s commands. In other words, his eyes are fixed on God’s way—righteousness, justice, and the direction God gives.
I often find myself thinking of my sins, failures, and how I need to improve. To be sure, examining yourself from time to time is a healthy practice. But examining yourself continuously is narcissistic navel-gazing! We tend to move in the direction our eyes are looking. If our eyes (physical or metaphorical) are looking at ourselves, we will tend to move in a self-centered direction. If our eyes are looking at our sin, we will tend to move in the direction of our sin. If our eyes are looking at the Word of God, both written and incarnate, we will tend to move in the direction of Christ. If our eyes watch other people, we tend to imitate their way of life. If those people follow Jesus daily, that’s a good thing to imitate! But not all do.
Who are you watching? What are your eyes looking at? What is the content of your thoughts? Where is your heart focused? What is the substance of your meditation?
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Ps 19:14, ESV).