The quest of “Looking Up!”


I must admit I have been very busy lately. As someone who gets to travel all over the country with Candy and Chase, as well as get to work from the comfort of a camper on his laptop computer for a living, I can say I am pretty privileged. God has blessed my life immeasurably.

When Candy and I left Hiram, Ohio to “pause on purpose” in March 2006, we did not know what to expect for our future. When we landed in the Denver area in October of that year, we had seen a ton of the western US. We did not know that the next 18 months would be some of the most disappointing times of our lives. It was tough starting over during that time but it helped put us both in a frame of mind that 1) life ain’t easy, and 2) we have nowhere to go but up. You will see “up” quite a bit over the next few minutes.

During that time the only job I could get was as a management trainee with Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Boulder, CO. It was the most humbling experience of my adult life. One thing that I remember from those days was my daily motto: “Always look up!” What I meant was “your work might not be a ton of fun, but at least you live in the prettiest place in North America. Enjoy it!” I can vividly recall those early mornings heading to work with David Pfister, my management training colleague who I got a ride from each morning. Those views of Colorful Colorado kept me pushing forward.  I just had to remember to “look up!”

Lately, I feel as if I look down all day…at my computer screen. I have been inundated (thankfully) with a lot of grading work, course development, comprehensive exam grading, and new faculty training over the last seven months. It has been the busiest time in my online teaching career. Many weekends constitute due dates for grading, so I find myself (at least until recently) pushing hard to get all of my grading done by 6 am on Sunday morning. It can be a tedious job but has given me a lot of chances to make a difference.

On Easter morning I kept having thoughts about not looking up. Then, God put something into my mind about “looking up.” I thought of the centurion who looked up at Christ as He was dying on the cross. The centurion was “looking up.” In “The Centurion at the Foot of the Cross” by Max Lucado. I think Lucado wrote it really well:

“The centurion’s convictions began to flow together like rivers. “This was no carpenter,” he spoke under his breath. “This was no peasant. This was no normal man.”

Lucado continues “Perhaps that is what made the centurion say what he said. He saw the eyes of God. He saw the same eyes that had been seen by a near-naked adulteress in Jerusalem, a friendless divorcée in Samaria, and a four-day-dead Lazarus in a cemetery. The same eyes that didn’t close upon seeing man’s futility, didn’t turn away at man’s failure, and didn’t wince upon witnessing man’s death.”

Lucado closes “He stood and looked around at the rocks that had fallen and the sky that had blackened. He turned and stared at the soldiers as they stared at Jesus with frozen faces. He turned and watched as the eyes of Jesus lifted and looked toward home. He listened as the parched lips parted and the swollen tongue spoke for the last time.”

“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”- Matthew 27:54.

Oh, another thing…Jesus rose from the dead. He was “looking up.”

I do not claim to be a theologian or even a Biblical scholar. I do know this, though: I am going to start “looking up” again. It is time to start seeing what is important around us and how incredible our country truly is. It is time to see the mountains again, the sunshine, and the clouds. Candy, Chase, and I are heading east in the next two weeks and then north to New England to “look up.”

We hope you will join us on our adventure.

by tim

show hide 6 comments

04.25.2011 - 6:33 pm

Mom Beautiful, Tim… simply but eloquently stated! Thanks for sharing what God put in your heart. Can’t wait to see the sights as you and Candy (and Chase, too, of course!) keep looking up!

04.25.2011 - 6:52 pm

Tim Thanks for the kudos…just been looking down too long.

04.25.2011 - 7:41 pm

Belinda Hi Tim Bobby and I are heading east this fall. Let us know any special things or Places y’all camp at. Have fun and keep up the blog.

04.25.2011 - 7:46 pm

Tim We are heading to Gulf State Park on May 9th for a week. After that, it looks like Maine for at least a month or two. Still on the hunt for a park up there (Bar Harbor area). Thanks for following along!

04.25.2011 - 7:57 pm

Brenda Wow. Thanks for voicing what you’ve learned through your experiences, Tim, because we can all learn from them!

04.25.2011 - 8:02 pm

Tim Brenda…thanks for following along. I actually texted with Brad today. Hope all is well!

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