Back in my college days, the days I had time to work out, I would go to the gym at least twice a week. It was my wind-down time. Time I got to stop the going, going, going and just be for a bit. And when I say "just be" I mean, I ran on the treadmill... I was going nowhere fast. But it was so good for me. When I was on the treadmill I had to look straight ahead. It was impossible for me to look up at the TV because I wasn't headed in that direction. I was running straight, not up. And when a friend came with me and we ran side by side I secretly hated it because I couldn't look over to talk to them. If I did, I started running in that direction ever so slightly. I had to hold my arms out onto the handle bars and force myself to go forward. I know what you're thinking, I'm a klutz. But hear me out on this one.
Flash forward to today, when most of my exercise comes from walking a line of 22 nine year olds through long hallways. They like to turn to their neighbor and talk, just like I did on the treadmill a few years back. Or they completely turn around and face backwards. What the what?! And so I came up with this funny question of asking them where they're going, because the direction they're facing isn't going to get them there. Sometimes they're facing a completely opposite direction (like when they're literally turned around), and sometimes they're just off a little bit, but still... we're supposed to be in a line here people!
Anyways... after I asked this question for the ump-teenth time, I started thinking about it in my own life. Where am I headed and what direction am I facing? I'm talking bigger things. Not like I'm trying to get to Target and going the wrong way. I mean really, where am I headed? I want to be the best wife I can and someday even be a mama. I want to love people in a way that points them beyond myself. I want to live life in the slow lane and with intention. I want to go beyond the classroom and lead teachers. I want to create a home that's inviting and welcoming and full of love and laughter. That's where I'm headed.
And if I'm headed in that direction, or at least want to be, I have to ask myself, what direction am I facing? Am I completely turned around trying to figure out what my friend behind me is doing? Or am I turned to the side, running my friend's path for a bit.
When I was in college running on that treadmill, I had to stare straight ahead. It just so happened that our gym had giant windows overlooking the football field. I fixed my eyes of the goal post and I ran. I didn't stop looking at that goal post until I reached my goal for the day. And now, when I walk my class down the hallway, I tell the kiddos to look up and straight in front of them. That's where they're headed and that's where they need to fix their eyes.
So in my own life, if I'm headed towards being the best wife I can, where are my eyes fixed? On the marriage next door or on my own? And if I'm headed towards loving people in ways I never thought possible, the only place my eyes should be fixed is on Jesus, the one who demonstrated that perfectly.
It's funny sometimes how these little things from the past and silly things from today collide to teach us something totally new. But they do, and right now I'm learning that there are many paths in this world. Not all are right for me. I need to stop and figure out where I want to be headed and then align my life to face in that direction. I believe we all need this once in a while, so I challenge you to make a list of where you want to be headed and really think about if your life is facing in that direction. If not, what can we do to change that?