Recently, I was driving home from a speaking engagement in Georgia on a sunny late summer day. My path took me down a two-lane highway that wound through the North Georgia mountains. I came around a bend, and spread out to the left of me was a field full of rows of sunflowers! It wasn’t just a small field, either – there were almost thirty acres of gorgeous sunflowers, all in bloom. It was breathtaking!
It didn’t just take my breath, though – all of the traffic on the highway slowed down from the 55 mph speed limit to around 25-30 mph. I’m sure that the other drivers were also trying to take in this astonishing sight.
The sunflowers were very tall, at least 7-8 feet in height, I would guess. Above the leafy green foliage of each stalk sat a dark face framed by a fringe of yellow petals. Each sunflower face was turned up toward the midday sun, shining in its light. Marvelous!
As I continued slowly past the sprawling fields, I thought about how the sunflowers’ faces track with the path of the sun so that they are always turned towards it. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful,” I felt like the Lord was saying to me, “if all of My followers were like the sunflowers?”
My mind was then flooded with images. I could “see” all of His followers, clothed in shining white robes and standing together in a massive group that could not be counted. We stood shoulder to shoulder in row after row with our faces turned towards Him, beaming reflections of His glory, and with all of our eyes trained on Jesus. Like a garden with a burgeoning crop of faith and devotion, we were all transformed into Son flowers! Magnificent!
I know that I fail almost daily to keep my face turned towards Jesus, at least for part of the day. There are always distractions that try to take my focus off of Him. In addition, storms come up that can take my gaze off of Him unless I’m careful, and over the past months of difficult times, I confess that I have not been as diligently careful as I should. I often have had my head down when I should have been looking at Him, the lifter of my head! (Psalm 3:3) I thank God for His mercy and grace, though. With His help, I will be more careful in the future to keep my gaze right where it belongs – squarely on Him and only Him.