Because I am an early riser, it has long been my custom to take a long daily walk which usually begins just as the sun is rising. Because the route that I follow is always the same, people have wondered if it might not get boring. But the fact is that each day’s walk is always different; sometimes it is the spectacular colors of the sunrise, or the flowering of a crabapple, or the hues of a sugar maple in early autumn that help to make each day’s walk a new experience. I have often said to my friend and walking partner, “look at that beautiful sight” as we lift up our eyes to survey the landscape around us, and see something for the first time.
These experiences have often made me think of the people to whom the prophet Isaiah was speaking. Seeking to prepare them for their terrible exile in Babylon, he urged them to look up, to lift their eyes toward the heavens and to thereby be reminded of the majesty, power and faithfulness of their sovereign Lord. “To whom can our Holy God be compared? Is there anyone else like him? Look up at the sky! Who created the stars that you see?” (40:25-26).
The prophet’s exclamation is also good advice for us as well. All of us become involved in the daily difficulties and pressures of life. We become overwhelmed by them and begin to lose our perspective on God, as our problems absorb our energies and limit our vision. This happens to us as we work, as we deal with difficult persons in our lives, as we face illness or experience disappointment in spite of our best efforts. We find ourselves discouraged and weakened.
At times like these, we need to lift up our eyes and once again see the grandeur and power of our all-sufficient God. As we do this, we come to understand that we can see more of God in a simple walk around the block than others see in a trip around the world.