Look Up

 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. – Matthew 17:8 NIV


photo by Raye Wortel

photo by Raye Wortel

When I was in middle and high school, I was a member of the colorguard.  You know, those people that spin flags, rifles, and sabers, perform at half-time shows, and band competitions?  Yes, that was me.


I remember going to my first high school marching band practice.  The objective that day was to learn the fundamentals of marching.  Our instructors rallied us to a long wall where we stood at attention.  Head, shoulder blades, bottom, and heels touching the wall for what seemed like endless hours.


After doing our time against the wall, we then progressed to the next stage which was to take one step off the wall with your left foot (always your left foot).


Big deal, right?  That’s what we thought.


See, the first step was hard.  We got comfortable on the wall.  We could mentally check off all the points that kept us in the right position.  It was our safety net, and when you move away from your safety net, things can get ugly.


Some of us stepped off on the wrong foot, others took too big of a step and lost their balance, and other still reverted to their old way of walking by slouching and swinging their arms.


But by far, the biggest offense that got you yelled at more than anything, was looking down.


For some reason, as we push away from the wall, most of us would sink.  Our posture would droop, and our eyes would go straight to our feet.  The need to look down was so powerful, and we soon forgot all we learned on the wall.


Why?  Well, looking down validated things. You could validate to yourself you actually took a step and didn’t just shuffle your feet.  You could validate that you weren’t in danger of colliding with your neighbor, and you could validate that the size of your step wasn’t too small to be useless, or too big that the instructors would have to keep an eye on you for not being a team player.


The thing was, there were tricks you could employ to cover up stepping off on the wrong foot, or for getting out of line, but as soon as you dropped your head, you became a beacon that everyone focused on.


Nothing was more important than looking up.


When I searched “looking up” in the Bible, I was amazed at how many verses spoke of this small act.  Apparently, looking up IS important!


Just before Stephen was stoned to death, he… ”Looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God.” (Acts 7:55) (emphasis mine)


At Jericho, “Joshua…looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand.” (Joshua 5:13) (He just met the commander of the Lord’s army.) (emphasis mine)


Isaiah urges us to, “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens…He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. (Isaiah 40:26) (emphasis mine)


And just before Jesus calls Lazarus back from the dead, “Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me.’” (John 11:41) (emphasis mine)


See, the action isn’t at our feet.  It’s out there, in front of us.  Looking down may validate where we’re at for the moment, but it certainly doesn’t dictate where we’re going.  


  • Look up everyday and praise God for his wondrous works in Creation.
  • Look up and know when the battle begins, we have a God who has an army.
  • Look up in thanksgiving to a God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
  • And above all, look up with your focus on Jesus – always.  So one day, when the moment of your last breath approaches, you may see heaven open up and the glory of God waiting to take you home.


Now that’s something to look forward to!


What do you see when you look up?  Have you ever had periods of time when you forgot to look up?  Comment or email me, I’d love to hear from you!

4 Replies

  1. Jackie Wortel

    First, beautiful picture! Second, beautiful thoughts! As always , thank you for reminding us to look to our Lord! Much love! 🙂

    1. Much love to you too! Thank you for your kinds words, and for always stopping by.

  2. Chris Vickers

    Just what I needed to start my day! Thanks so much.

    1. So glad you liked it, have a blessed day!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.