Look Up

I once heard that a difference between humans and the animal kingdom (referencing land-dwellers) is that animals spend most of their time looking around and down while humans more often look up.  Now, I understand there are varying degrees of truth in this statement, but it seems to be, at least, a truism.  Herbivores look down more than carnivores, and the nature of the beast greatly determines posture.  Conversely, natural inclinations are reinforced by repetition.  The degree to which one practices a position makes it more or less likely that they will continue in that mannerism.  Unthinking, they will assume the default stance as natural and correct.  The design of creation influences every being, and comportment in living reinforces that design, as well as, the influences of the fall.

Some people spend their lives looking down.  Speaking metaphorically, they always look on the negative side of things.  Truthfully, some personality styles tend this way, but time spent in negativity reinforces the perception that it is all of life.  It is extremely difficult to convince a person against their will, and the suggestion that sad sack take another view is mostly unheeded.  The worn path soon becomes a rut.  It is hard to get out of a low spot, and, when the ends close, the rut becomes a grave.  While we do not control every wind that blows, we cannot deny that we have more influence over our personal lives than any other.  Positivity may not be in the nature, but a negative spirit breeds despondency in a world with plenty to complain about.  Point of view may be well-nigh everything.

Some people spend their lives looking around.  They are consumed by the activities of others and themselves by comparison.  Such find little satisfaction having a poor sense of self-esteem and determination.  They find it difficult to be satisfied in their marriages, with their children or in their churches being drawn to popular and flashy alternatives on every hand.  Keeping up with them is akin to chasing a squirrel.  Where there is no rest, there is little reliability.  Fear is the watchword of the fickle.  The Apostle Paul taught that comparisons with others are not wise.  These will lead us either to unsubstantiated pride in ourselves or unnecessary self-criticism.  Each life is individual and important.  We can learn from each other but must remember accountability is to our Creator.

Some people spend their lives looking up.  This, too, can be an aspect of personality, yet practice makes perfect.  Downcast eyes beget defeated experiences, and there is no real satisfaction in fads.  While it can be difficult to put a positive spin on every eventuality, things will spin out of control if we do not make efforts.  God made us differently than the “beasts which perish.”  We are not descended from them, we are descended from Him and have the ability to rise above circumstances and take other views.  We are not bound to the earth nor are we tied to the opinions of others.  Free choice is the birthright of the race though all choices are no co-equal.  Though life-stations are unequal, humanity, at root, is not, and each of us can access heaven’s help in the execution of our lives.

Many believers object that they know no one to influence for Christ.  There is some rationale for this position.  A lot of people do basically the same things daily and are not in professions which introduce them to others on any regular basis.  Dealing with a set group of people, it does not take long to discover the spiritual inclinations of that group.  It can be quite discouraging for those who want to reach others, but the words of Jesus may help.  He told his disciples not to say that a harvest would come one day but to understand that it was already present.  They simply needed to look on the field.  They were not to look within themselves or at the actions of others.  We will not see if we do not search, and perspective is everything.  They are out there and can be found if we look up.

Sterl

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