It has been more than 20 years since I took driver’s education class and began to learn to drive a car. But I still remember the things that I was taught there (most of them). I remember where I’m supposed to put my hands on the steering wheel, how to use my mirrors, and I remember the term “aim high in steering.”
If you’re not familiar with this, it means keeping your eyes focused on the road, but not specfically right in front of you. It means to look ahead, down the road, where you’re headed. Because where your eyes focus, that’s where you and whatever you’re driving go. Your eyes are already taking in what’s right in front of you, but they’re also focusing on what’s ahead.
Are you living your life that way? Looking at what where you want to go? Or are you focusing on the ground right in front of you?
Sometimes, I have a tendency to focus on what’s right in front of me. My eyes dart back and forth to the “crisis” that’s happening right here right now. The bill that is due today, the string of text messages that came through in the last two minutes, the laundry that is stacked up in the hall, the milk that just got spilled on the ﬂoor, and the blog post that is three weeks in the making.
Beautiful girl all of these things matter so much. They are a part of the day-to-day and that are woven into what makes up our whole life (and makes our life whole). But these things, they are not all that there is.
Look a bit further down the road. There will be children going to the prom, there will be empty hallways and more blog comments than you can imagine. Please just lift your eyes.
Peek ahead, to where you are going. Where do you want to be? What do your eyes land on down the road? Where do you want to steer your car? What obstacles do you need to be ready for and which of those are just pebbles in the road?
Pebbles that will pass by under your tires do not cause you to veer into the ditch. They are just pebbles. Maybe there is a Facebook status that just really doesn’t need your reply, maybe that email could get answered in the morning, maybe you can hand everyone a paper towel, get the milk cleaned up and move on. These are pebbles. If you look at each one as it comes right in front of you you may get overwhelmed by them, but if you lift your eyes, they will go past unnoticed.
There is so much begging for our attention. So much “should and could” every day. It’s so easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed. I know this. I know this in my core and even yet I forget and get overwhelmed with the pebbles but I’m making a conscious choice to see the pebbles for what they are, and to even overlook the ones that really don’t need my attention.
Where are you looking? Are you aiming high? Do you want to write a book? Look down the road and see yourself with a room full of people, listening to you read it. Do you want to be a retreat leader? Look down the road and see yourself surrounded by hungry women on a sunlit beach. Do you want a house full of babies? Look down the road and see your strong body making that ﬁnal push as your ﬁrst child enters the world. What we focus on grows and becomes a part of us.
The world is going to be different because you are in it. Keep your eyes lifted and your heart filled.