I noticed something this morning as my wife was doing my daughter’s hair. They both were staring into the big mirror on Anna’s dresser and all around the mirror were pictures. Shots of Anna with me and with Leah and with her brother Nathan. There’s a picture of her with her late Papaw Great, and with her good friends who now live in Colorado, Miss Lindsey and Mr. Jamin, along with a flower they picked just for their little friend. Speaking of flowers, there’s a framed, pressed red flower (from Papaw Great’s flower garden) that Mamaw picked special for her great-granddaughter sitting next to the spot where her brush rests. There’s a family picture taken of my parents and brother and his family from when we all met in Pittsburgh, and there are cards surrounding her mirror from Grammy and Papaw. So many of the people that love Anna surrounding her reflection as she watches her Momma do her hair for school.
But there were more than just pictures in her periphery. There’s a pink and orange flying pony from Mr. Payton and a couple of art creations Anna made with her babysitter Miss Kelli and with other family members.
It reminded me that much of who we become is based on the people in our periphery. While we are looking at ourselves, they are the ones who love us and teach us and spend time with us, helping to mold us. This isn’t a surprise. But, it’s a great barometer for how our lives are going.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says it beautifully. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith”
Isn’t it interesting how when we take our eyes off ourselves, and are engaged with those around us, it’s easier to “fix our eyes on Jesus,” which is precisely where they need to be.
Who is in your great cloud of witnesses? Do you need to grow closer to them or reconnect with them today?