“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” (Proverbs 4:25–27, NLT 2015).
My Musings – My high school offered a driver’s education class, which was required in order to get your driver’s license at sixteen (just realized that was fifty years ago). While I learned the fundamentals in that course, I received most of my practical instruction from my dad when he took me out to practice. On one occasion he noticed that while I was able to stay in my lane (which of course is desirable), I weaved a bit from side-to-side in my lane. It didn’t take him long to correct the issue. While I was focused on what was ahead, my line of sight was fixed on the point just ahead of the vehicle. He told me if I lifted my gaze further down the road the weaving would go away, which it did.
In our earthly pilgrimage, we are acutely aware of how dangerous looking to the right or the left can be, how it can “get [us] sidetracked.” But short-sightedness does not always “mark out a straight path for [our] feet.” We must keep our eye on the prize, which is a bit further down the road.
The only detours we should take are the ones the LORD takes us on. For example, on the Exodus from Egypt, the straightest and thus shortest route would take the Israelites through hostile territory that they were not yet ready to face. God knew that the detour around was what was best. But still they had to keep their eye on the cloud and pillar of fire that was leading them to the prize.
My Advice – There are a lot of “squirrels” out there that can distract our gaze. Be disciplined. “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.”