Look Up

Key Texts: Psalm 123:1

I lift up my eyes to you,

   to you who sit enthroned in heaven.

It seems to me that each day brings a little more controversy; a little more debate.

There are times when I have to just switch off the computer, the radio, the TV, because I just can’t stomach another angry or contentious voice blaring in my ears.

Where is the civility? Where do I see examples of someone listening first, then answering?

Worst of all, we haven’t even begun to get serious about the next Presidential election – good grief.

Then, I sit down, in the quiet of the evening, with no devices blaring this opinion or that attitude, demanding my attention or my reaction.

I sit down, open my Bible, to these ancient prayers – and this is what I find.

I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven.

For just a little while, it is quiet. For just a little while there is time to reflect and pray. For just a little while there is this ancient song of ascents calling out to me…

“Look up. Just look up. That’s where the answer is. That’s where the answer has always been. That’s where the answer will always be. Just look up.”

And it is enough.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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