Keep Your Head Up!
Keep Your Head Up, Kid! That was the title of a t.v. mini-series that ran a couple years ago on CBC. The series chronicles the life of Don Cherry, a famous Canadian hockey personality. The expression refers to the fact you need to keep your head up as you skate with the puck, so you can see when a hit is coming and avoid it.
Keep your head up, or keep your eyes turned up, is a concept that stuck out to me last week as I read the narrative of the Magi in Matthew 2. It’s fascinating that the wise men discovered the Messiah before King Herod and his court. The prophecies and the geographic area where Jesus was born were right under the noses of the teachers of the Law and yet they would have completely missed it if they weren’t alerted to it by the Magi. The Magi would have had some or all of the same prophecies available to them because of the Jewish beliefs that had been absorbed into the libraries of Babylon during the exile. So why were they the ones who discovered the toddler Jesus and not King Herod (via the chief priests and teachers of the law in Jerusalem)? The answer is, the Magi kept their heads up! Their eyes were to the skies and not on their navels.
Where our eyes are directed is where our focus is. If our vision is on the metaphorical horizontal plain, that means we are primarily interested in what is happening around us. That plain of focus reveals a selfish ambition in us. Navel gazing is a fine picture which says we’re looking down, at ourselves, and interested only in our own affairs. In contrast, if we are looking up it shows we are aware that a greater reality exists. We are seeking to discover how we fit into a greater narrative. Up is also the conceptual direction of where God resides. And so “looking to the stars”, as the Magi did, can be a metaphor for seeking after God. There is a belief that there is revelation to receive and to act upon, as the wise men demonstrated.