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Look Up and Keep Moving



If you can't fly, run.

If you can't run, walk.

If you can't walk, crawl.

But, by all means, keep moving.

Martin Luther King Jr.



You’re at your nearby park, beneath some trees, a gentle breeze mingling with the branches. Before you is your daughter. She’s five. She’s sitting atop a blue bicycle with no training wheels. Her white-knuckled hands are wrapped around the handlebars, her feet on the pedals, and her helmet is securely fastened.


This is it. It's the moment you’re going to—finally, at last—teach her to ride a bike.


After telling her to start pedaling, you begin to walk beside your child, assuring her, “I’m not gonna let go.” But, as you awkwardly progress, you soon notice she’s looking down, struggling. Her body is jerky, her feet fumbling about with the pedals. She hesitates and begins to stop.


At this point, you urge her to do two things.

“Look up and keep moving.”


The secret to your child going forward, remaining balanced, and learning to ride a bike is found in her listening to and following those words.


For many of us, we're looking down, struggling. Our lives have become jerky. We're fumbling about with the pedals, so to speak, hesitating and finding that everything in us wants to stop.

However, if we’re to go forward, remain balanced in life, and learn how to successfully navigate and progress through this world, then we must look up and keep moving.


I remember making our way home, years ago, from a family vacation. It had been a long day of driving. The sun had slipped away for the night, replaced by the moon and stars.

While so close to my hometown—and a bed to crawl into—my dad pulled the mini-van over on a straight, two-lane highway. He turned the engine off.

“Get out,” he told us all.

"What?" more than one of us asked. "Why?"

Our mumbling and grumbling proved no use.

We got out of the van.

With dirt and rock beneath our shoes and with heat still oozing off the asphalt, my dad nonchalantly said, “Look up.”

Directing my gaze upward, along with the rest of the family, my soul whispered, “Wow.”

There was no ambient light, not a cloud in the sky, and no headlights speeding towards us. The wind was absent, and every star in the sky twinkled like an LED. The night sky was so brilliant, beautiful, and big. It was mesmerizing. It was humbling.

I realized then, at a young age, that the God behind all this must be powerful, creative, and big.

"How so?" you might wonder.

Well, think first about the ocean. According to multiple sources, 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean. The ocean contains the longest mountain range on earth; it's 10 times longer than the longest mountain range on dry ground. It also holds Challenger Deep, which, from its surface to the bottom, is SIX times deeper than the Grand Canyon. Not only that, but it would take 36 United States to fill the entire ocean. If you took all the water in the ocean and dumped it onto U.S. soil, it would be over 82 miles high, stretching from point-to-point, side-to-side. Also, the ocean represents 99% of the earth’s biosphere. In other words, 99% of the life in our world resides underwater.

So, if the ocean is that big, how big is the earth itself? The circumference of planet earth is roughly 24,900 miles.

It’s a big planet, sure. However, let’s go bigger.

Think about the sun. The sun is so far away from us that in a normal jet, it would take us 19 years to arrive at its surface. It’s so big it could hold one million earths inside it, and you could take 109 planet earths and lay them across the circumference of the sun; the circumference of the sun is 2.7 million miles. And, get this. Per NASA, the sun is an average-sized star, while there are around 10-40 billion sun-like stars in our galaxy. Amazing!

Speaking about our galaxy, did you know there are nearly 400 billion stars in the Milky Way? Our galaxy is so big it would take 100,000 years to cross from one side to another, IF you were traveling at the speed of light. Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles a second. This means, for example, that someone traveling at the speed of light could go around the earth 108,000 times in the same amount of time it would take someone flying in a normal jet to go from LA to NYC. So, therefore, ponder this: it would take you 100,000 years, traveling at LIGHT speed, to cross our Milky Way Galaxy from one side to another. Here's what’s more fascinating. There are, according to conservative estimates, at least 100 billion other galaxies besides our Milky Way.

This, on that night along the highway, is what we were standing under.

This, as you're reading these words, is what you're living under.


Now…consider the God behind all this.

The psalmist says, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him” (Psalm 8:3-4, ESV)?

The universe is the work of God’s fingers. Like a painter sitting before an empty canvas, God spoke into existence everything, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:1-3). He transcends everything, holding all things in His hands. We cannot fully comprehend how brilliant, beautiful, and big God is, no matter how hard we try, just as we cannot fully comprehend the universe that He made with His “fingers.” Still, we must know that the God behind all this is powerful, creative, and big.

Yet, at the same time, what’s so amazing about God is that He is mindful of us. He knows us—personally and intimately. He cares for us immensely. He loves us deeply.

Therefore, no matter how jerky our lives become, how much we might struggle, how much fumbling about we might do, or how strong our urge is to hesitate and stop, God is compelling us—like a parent beside a daughter on a bike—to look up.

Look up at it all. Look up to Him, the One behind it all.

As the scriptures say, "Be still. Know that [He is] God" (Psalm 46:10).

God is compelling us to be still and know that He holds everything and everyone in His hands, including you and me, and to know that He assures us, “I’m not gonna let go.”

So, look up.


This nearly goes without saying, but life is hard. There are twists and turns. Mysteries abound. Trials and sorrows find themselves all too often in the midst of our days, weeks, or years, having arrived unannounced and uninvited.

Nevertheless, no matter the darkness, we must not only look up, but we must also keep moving.

As MLK Jr said, “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But, by all means, keep moving.”

Listen. Our lives are full of different seasons. As Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) reminds us, “There is a time and a season for everything…” We will discover seasons in which we can fly, but we’ll also find seasons in which we can barely crawl. However, no matter the cost, condition, or circumstances, we must not only look up, but we must also keep moving.

Truly, if we’re to go forward, remain balanced in life, and learn how to successfully navigate and progress through this world, then we must look up and keep moving.

We must look up to God, and we must keep moving with God.


After our star-gazing moment on that night long ago, our family climbed back into the mini-van, everyone quiet. The tires turned onto the pavement, and we left that spot along the highway.

My dad eventually said, "We don't do it enough.”

Someone asked, "What?"

His reply was simple: "Look up."

From there, we kept moving forward, onward to our desired destination... Home.




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