Have you noticed that we have become a society of people looking down? And we’re not looking down at beloved small children or pets as much as we are looking down at smartphones. Looking down to check Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram or our GPS.
Technology can be helpful and crucial, no doubt about it. But looking down all the time can not only give us a neck ache, it can even be hazardous. Who can forget the YouTube video of the woman falling into the fountain at the mall while looking down at her smartphone? And no telling how many shoppers this season will be bumped into or knocked down by another shopper walking while looking at his or her phone.
What if we all spend more time looking up this Advent season, and less time looking down? What if we shift our gaze to the angel on top of the Christmas tree, the stars that shone over Bethlehem fields, or snow-crested peaks like those of the majestic mountains all around us here in Colorado? Do we really want to miss all that glory because we are looking down?
The Psalms of Ascent in the Bible give us examples of God’s people looking up instead of down as they sought Him with all their hearts. I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? says Psalm 121:1. I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven, reads Psalm 123:1.
If ever there was a time for us to lift both our eyes and our hands in praise to our Lord and Savior, it’s at Christmas time. And the Lord is happy to help us do that. But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head, we read in Psalm 3:3
Once we are looking up again, we can share a smile with a harried store clerk. We can notice when someone needs help getting through the door or into her car. We can enjoy the birds at the feeder, the deer in the fields, sunrises, and sunsets as all heaven and nature sing. Don’t those sound like wonderful reasons to lift our eyes this Christmas?
First published by Fellowship of the Rockies, Christmas 2014.