Bike-Keith - 1

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Setting aside every encumbrance and fixing our eyes on Jesus.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of accompanying university students to Italy. One of our optional opportunities was an 8-mile bike ride into the hills outside of Florence, with We Like Tuscany. To get to the country, we rode our bikes through the traffic. Our guide, Bill, told us to “go with the flow” and not worry about the cars coming within inches of us.

Each time a car got close to me, my front tire wobbled, and I had to stop and try to start again. The students were also excited and came within inches of me. Once, I crashed into a stone wall.

Four miles up the hills at more than a 60 degree angle. Front tire wobbling, crashing, restarting, walking, and retrying.

Bike-Karen - 1

Finally, I made it to the top. Notice, one person is on her cell phone. They patiently waited for me.

Bike - Landscape-Tuscany - 1

It was worth the uphill pedal AND walk, huffing and puffing.

Bike - Bill-Tuscany - 1 Bill, our tour guide was awesome. He identified me as a hazard and told me to follow right behind him, especially in the traffic.

“Don’t look at the traffic, Karen. Look at my tires and follow right in their tracks.”

He periodically looked back to see if I was following in his path. He told me to adjust the gears when necessary. As long as I followed his path and adjusted the gears as he told me to, my tires did not wobble, and the traffic did not bother me.

Jesus told His disciples to follow Him, to learn of Him, and to focus on Him.

When Peter stepped out of the boat and into the water during the storm, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he walked on the water. When Peter looked at the storm around him, he began to sink into the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:25-33).

That’s what I was doing. Every time I looked at the traffic, I wobbled or crashed, many times having to walk for awhile.

Bill had no idea the lesson he was teaching me.

In my head, I knew this principle and thought I was practicing it. I’d been through storms before. I’d climbed hills steeper than these. But when I was placed in the midst of chaotic traffic, I wobbled because I did not have my focus in the right place.

let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith

The Christian life is strenuous, like a race, like a bike ride going straight up the hill in the middle of Italian traffic. We wobble and crash. We walk for awhile. We get back on the bike and start pumping. We refocus, and eventually, we get there … with help.

I was so glad that Bill was there to keep reminding me to keep my eyes fixed on him. He encouraged me and kept others away from me who might cause me to crash. He even carried my camera for me, so that I wouldn’t worry about that.

Jesus is there for us, ready to remind us to fix our eyes on Him. He’s there to prevent crashes, but if we get our eyes off Him, sometimes, we crash. When we do, He’s right there, ready to take part of our load and guide us back to His path.

Jesus is right by our side, ensuring that we get to the top. It still takes effort. It still takes a bit of huffing and puffing. With Jesus, though, you’ll reach the mountain top.

If you are struggling today, perhaps it would be beneficial for you to take a minute and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where your eyes are focused.

My prayer

Our Father in heaven, You are there when we need You. In the middle of the storm, in the middle of chaos, there You are. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to show us the way. Help us to keep our eyes and minds focused on Him. Father, thank You for Bill and his attentiveness to the people he leads. Bless him and his family. Holy Spirit, thank You for this reminder that Jesus will never leave us and that He is there to guide us, pick us up, and carry our load, so that we will reach the mountain top with Him. Amen.

Please share in the Comment Section a time that you had to refocus and what you learned. 

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9 thoughts on “8 Miles Refocusing on Jesus

  1. “If you are struggling today, perhaps it would be beneficial for you to take a minute and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where your eyes are focused.”

    What a perfect prayer- and for anyone! Even if we think we’re getting it right, sometimes our success is temporary and a lack of focus on Jesus sends us stumbling. This is a simple and beautiful statement to redirect us whether we’re struggling or think we have it all together.

    Beautiful blogging- thank you for this post!

    1. Thank you for the reminder that keeping focused on Jesus is indeed for all of us, whether we are comfortable or uncomfortable.
      Thank you, also, for the sweet compliment.
      May your eyes and heart keep focused upon the One Who will never leave you nor forsake you, the One Who loves you dearly and calls you His very own.
      Wishing you every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies and abundant wisdom. Karen

  2. I love analogies, as you can tell from some of my blogs, and I really love this one about the bike. I can totally see you (or me) focusing only on the tire ahead of you, listening for the voice that will tell you when to switch gears. This visual will stay with me and remind me to refocus whenever I start to wobble. Thanks so much for sharing it!

    1. Linda, I’m glad that this experience resonated with you. I will never forget it. May you experience increasing God-moments that underline His love for you. Many blessings, Karen

  3. Yes, this is very relatable. Especially in new circumstances, I get thrown for a loop even when I think I am ready. And it’s exactly the same, my eyes and heart have drifted and not stayed the course. Praise God, He reminds us with rebuke, conviction, and mercy. 🙂

    1. T.R., Yes, God is so very patient with us. You’d think we would not stray, but I think the key is we stray less as we walk this Christian walk, and as we climb the steeper hills or walk the darker valleys, we encounter new distractions, and Jesus patiently guides us back to His path. May your eyes keep focused on Jesus. Karen

      1. I so agreed! I know worry and stress throw me through loops especially when something bigger comes my way. But God always uses hardship as opportunity to put the focus on Him and HIs purpose. 🙂

  4. This is a great and very encouraging post, Karen. I like when you said, “The Christian life is strenuous… We wobble and crash. We walk for awhile. We get back on the bike and start pumping. We refocus, and eventually, we get there … with help.”

    I really like your analogy of keeping our focus on Christ and the bike ride you did in Italy. Whenever we focus on other things instead of Christ, we sink, but as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus; we can walk upon our situation with the faith we have in Jesus Christ.

    One of the quotes within your post I liked was:

    “Jesus is there for us, ready to remind us to fix our eyes on Him. He’s there to prevent crashes, but if we get our eyes off Him, sometimes, we crash. When we do, He’s right there, ready to take part of our load and guide us back to His path.”

    One time I had to refocus onto Christ actually came from blogging and spending time reading the Bible. There would be times where I was either distracted with social media, homework or TV and prioritize that over spending some quality time with Christ and His Word.

    1. Thank you for your gracious words. Yes, we do get easily distracted. Today, there is so much available and around us to distract us. We live a fast-paced life with many goals and objectives. Your comment has caused me to pause and think about Jesus’ focus—but for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. Jesus was so focused and had two goals: to be the exact representation of our Father and to pay for our sins by dying on the cross and rising from the dead to ascend to the right hand of God to be our High Priest, advocating for you and me. On His way to the cross, He raised the dead, healed the sick, touched the lepers, fed the multitudes, preached the Good News, and disciples followers. May the Lord richly bless you as you focus on Jesus.

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