As I finish up Hebrews again, I’m struck by the last few chapters and the ways they address those of us who, for whatever reason, find ourselves drooping, losing heart, gutted by life. The author pushes us to persevere, to push on into faith with reminders like this: “draw near to God in confidence,” “encourage one another,” “do not throw away your confidence.” Then that majestic testimony to the power of faith in the lives of so many: the victorious, the brave, the tenacious, the strong; the persecuted, the hounded, the imprisoned, the slaughtered, the destitute. Therefore…
Consider Jesus. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Direct your thoughts, as feral as they seem to be sometimes, toward this one Person.
Dallas Willard once wrote, “The key, then, to loving God is to see Jesus, to hold him before the mind with as much fullness and clarity as possible. It is to adore him.”
Ludolph agreed, writing this:
In everything you say and do keep your eyes fixed on Jesus as your model: walking and standing, sitting and getting up, eating and drinking, speaking and keeping silence, alone or with others. In this way, you will grow to love him more, familiarity with him will increase your faith and grace, and you will become more perfect in virtue. Let this be your wisdom and your purpose: always to be thinking somehow about Jesus, so that you are striving to imitate him more closely or love him more deeply.
Can we really live like this? Can I study, do the crossword puzzle, read scripture, watch football, pray, grocery shop, go to church, attend a faculty meeting, tend the grandchildren, enjoy a novel, cook for the family, clean the toilets, do a remodel of our basement, visit a friend … all with Jesus present to my thoughts? Can I lasso all the myriad thoughts a day brings and just direct them toward Jesus?
Consider, and strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Consider, and make every effort to live in peace. Consider, and anticipate with trembling the assembly of thousands and thousands of angels. Consider, and grade the papers, scrub the sink, and fill up the car with gas … fixing my eyes on Jesus.