Straight Rows

Straight Rows

Written by Erik Gernand

When I was growing up, I remember the days of learning how to mow the yard.

My dad took me out with him a few times and we followed the good old model. At first I watched my dad, walking alongside him and learning how the mower worked. Then he’d let me take a couple of passes while he walked with me. Before long, though, I was out there on my own.

I wish I could say I was an expert right off the bat and that our lawn looked like Wrigley Field in October…but I had a few early struggles. I remember one time cutting my leg on an old, rusty iron stake that served as a property marker. I went in to have my mom clean it up and bandage it…then went back out and cut my other leg on the same property marker on the very next pass! I still have the scar where I got 16 or so stitches from that.

Apparently I’m a slow learner.

But my most persistent struggle was with mowing straight lines. I had so much trouble with it. The more I focused on mowing the straight lines, the more trouble I had keeping them straight.

Until one day, as my dad saw me struggling with it, he shared with me a bit of advice that seemed pretty counter-intuitive, “Erik, stop watching the lines. Pick a target at the end of the row you’re on, set your eyes on it and walk towards that.”

And this miracle happened that day: I instantly started mowing perfectly straight rows.

Turns out that there’s this principle in life. If you keep your eyes fixed on something, you’ll cut a pretty straight line towards it.

I think that principle holds pretty true in our journey with Jesus as well. The more we micro-analyze how we’re doing…the more we pay attention to the surroundings…the more we look at and fine-tune based on where we think we are in the journey…the more crooked our lives probably become.

Because we were made to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus – the author and perfecter of our faith.

So, today, may you do something that might feel a little counter-intuitive: Take your eyes off your surroundings and put them on the one who is calling you to himself. And may your row, as a byproduct of that fixed gaze, become straight.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. – Psalm 16:8