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One of my least favorite parts of playing sports in middle and high school was the requirement to stretch before practices and games. The most difficult stretch for me to execute was the standing quad stretch. You probably know the one.
I would balance on one foot, grab the opposite foot and bring it up behind me, while bending the knee. The reason this stretch was so challenging was that it required balance. I remember spending the duration of the stretch wobbling back and forth just trying to stay standing.
Everything changed one day when I learned a helpful trick. Someone taught me that I could stay balanced by picking one object and staring at it for the length of the stretch. It sounded easy enough, so I gave it a try and was amazed with the result. No more wobbling.
My eyes were more powerful than I realized. The influence of the eyes is a consistent theme running through all aspects of life, not just athletics.
That which captures our attention becomes the subject of our contemplation. The mind follows the eyes. That’s why the author of Hebrews says to fix our eyes on Jesus before he tells us to consider Jesus (Heb. 12:2-3). Our gaze sets the stage for our meditation.
Life often feels chaotic. Schedules are routinely hectic. Busyness can threaten to take over. While the world spins incessantly around us (and perhaps inside us), a steady gaze on a fixed point will keep us on our feet. Focusing on Jesus, the immovable Cornerstone, is the only way to make sense of, and stand firm in, a world that is anything but stable.
Trying to stay balanced while chasing distractions doesn’t work for long. But as I learned in a simple stretch, the key to balance is all in the eyes.