My son was a camp counselor this past summer. He worked the ropes course, which was an entirely new experience for him. I visited him one day at the camp, and he graciously took me down into the woods where things like rope swings and zip lines and rock walls and vertical playgrounds were set up.
Clearly, these are things I would rather observe than do.
For a while, I stood with him at the base of the rock wall. It was huge. It was high. As I was watching, I saw these little kids shimmying up so fast and so confidently that it amazed me.
It took me a moment, but I noticed something about each child going up. Unlike what I would have been doing in order to measure my progress and welcome panic, they never looked back and they never looked down.
The key to their success in getting to the top was that they only looked up.
Not once did one of them glance back to see how far they'd come or how dangerous their climb actually was or the risks they were taking or the probability that they shouldn't be trusting fake rocks jutting out of a thin wooden frame.....and on and on it could go.
That's what I would have been thinking while I was climbing that insanely high, precarious looking wall.
But not them. They embraced no excuses. They just climbed.
Watching from my safe, risk-less spot on the ground, every last one of those kids got to the top just fine. When they arrived, there was a counselor there to give them a huge high five and congratulate their success. It was a well-earned accolade.
I couldn't help but make the jump to the spiritual parallel. Life is all about looking up, not looking back. I need to remember that God's at the top of the wall, cheering me on, just waiting until one day when He can give me the high five that says, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
The climb will go easier if I don't worry so much about where I've been, but instead concentrate on where I'm going.
And the best way to get there is by looking up.