23 Thursday Jan 2014
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18“Keep your eyes on the ball!”
I don’t know how many times I heard those words lobbed to me as I stood at home plate, bat in my little hands, waiting for the pitcher to underhand the softball in my direction.
But I could never do it. The ball became nothing but a blur as it spinned toward me, and then past me. I simply could not get a fix on that little white ball.
Had I loved sports (instead of being forced to do my time by the Department of Education) I could have practiced and learned how to focus my eyes and maybe even make contact.
Learning to focus on anything, foregoing all the distractions, takes practice.
Even focusing on the Lord takes patience and lots and lots of practice. Without focus on Him, everything becomes a blur, and we forget our purpose–to glorify God in all we do.
But we first have to love Him, and in order to love Him, we have to know Him.
We have to forego other things in order to spend with Him, practicing His presence, hearing His voice.
But so much…life….can get in the way.
So much of our pains and sorrows and worries and temptations and earthly goals take us away from our time with the Lord. Maybe we’ve been offended by God and we’ve allowed that to create distance. Maybe it’s sin we’ve allowed to settle in our lives. An unforgiveness. A bitterness. Maybe we’ve just let the little daily urgencies of life keep pushing out what’s most important.
We can forget that those things that trouble us are not the problem, but only a temporary tool used in the hands of a loving and gracious God to bring us to full maturity. We can forget that He is fully capable of handling them and that we don’t need to let them overcome us. We can place them at Jesus’ feet and look into His eyes.
We can choose to take our eyes off those things…off the crowd, off the other team, off the world…and put them back on Jesus. Back on the ball. Only then will we find success—peace and joy and real love–in the kingdom of God. Only then will we be able lay up real treasures in heaven where this life will be but a distant memory, and eternity will be more real than this life ever was, where our reward is waiting with Him.
I love how Francis Chan puts it in this short video: