The other night my nine year old nephew put a post-it in front of me because he had written something on it that he wanted me to see. The problem was he put it too close to my face and it became a blur. Two thoughts occurred to me as I pulled his hand back so I could actually read what it was he was trying to show me.
First, it was clear at that moment that I am getting old. It will be no time at all before I will be donning a pair of those lovely magnified glasses old folks wear on the end of their noses.
Secondly, I was reminded of Colossians 3:1-4 and its implications.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Where I look effects how I walk this road of grief. I am often tempted to look at my immediate circumstances and the daily events as they unfold, stinging my day, threatening to rob my joy as I try to live the new normal…a Christmas without Grant. That becomes a problem, however, when I am looking at those things without Christ in my view. When my pain blinds me to everything except the here and now. It would be like trying to drive my car and never looking past the hood. When driving I have to look out in the distance to see where I am headed.
It is the same thing in life. I have to look at all of life, and death (including Grant’s), with Christ in view, with my mind “set on things above,” and a focus on my future to come, where I will be in glory with God, and reunited with Grant. If I face life and the holidays with Christ in view and if my mind is set on things above, it will put my daily grief in the right perspective. When my mind is only on “earthly things” my vision will be skewed, as the post-it was, and grief will win. And grief cannot, must not win.
Where I look will effect how I walk this road of suffering. If I am constantly looking back at what I had and now is gone, I will be sad, bitter, angry. If I am always gazing on what could have been, I will be disheartened, discontent, skeptical. No, I must fix my focus on things to come. I must focus on the certainty of my eternity with Christ and an endless Christmas someday, when I have been united with my Savior, and reunited with Grant. That is where I must fix my gaze this Christmas. Grief cannot, must not win and rob us of the joy now and the joy to come!