This past Wednesday I had the chance to attend a choir concert by the Master’s College Choir. It was simply amazing. I have sung in a choir, and I have seen many choral performances. I am not exaggerating when I say I have NEVER seen a choir follow the conductor the way this one did. The choir sang in Russian, English, and Hebrew—flawlessly—from the look on the faces of Russian speakers who were attending. In English they sang hymns and spirituals, and their pronunciation and vocal effects were simply amazing. The conductor was also amazing. I enjoyed watching him as well. When the concert ended you could see the twinkle in the conductor’s eye, and his obvious pride in every member of the choir.

But what hit me the most was how every person in the choir kept their eyes on him—all the time. It was simply amazing.

I remember attending a concert last year . I had been looking forward to it. So you can imagine how disappointed I was when I heard so many obvious mistakes, coming not from the choir, but the musicians. It seemed like the conductor and the orchestra were on two completely different wave lengths. The soloists visibly struggled to follow the conductor as the orchestra created their own tempo. In short—a musical disaster. When the concert was over, I knew the conductor would never work with that orchestra again—and he didn’t.

What a difference. And for me, I gained a deeper understanding of Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Fixing my eyes on Jesus, I realize anew, is the only way to keep this world from getting me down, to have victory over sin, and to walk with joyful hope.

And I am reminded of that old Keith Green song, “O Lord, you’re beautiful. Your face is all I seek. And when your eyes are on this child, your grace abounds to me.”