Heard a great ‘message/personal story’ by new pastor Stephen Collins at LifePoint Church yesterday. His main illustration and emphasis was about baseball. He talked about how his Dad taught him at a young age to ‘keep his eye on the ball’.
If you play ball – or know anything about it from others who do – then you know that this advice from coaches is not just a suggestion – but a tried and true method in which you connect with the ball. You take your eyes off – and you not only lose the possibility of connection – but you can miss altogether. This is a great ‘life lesson’ as well.
There are many distractions in life – those things that can take our focus off what is really important. Oh – sometimes they are really little things – hardly detectable by anyone else – but for you – they can mean the difference between having a ‘win’ – or ‘striking out’.
I believe that things happen for a reason. Emotions and situations are neutral. It is how I process them – and choose to react to them that makes the difference between a ‘win’ for me – or a ‘loss’. When I understand this – I am able to find my focus and not let others distract me – or try to pull me to one side or another. If God is truly the central focus of my life – and He is – then the ‘other things’ become neutral. My responsibility is to do what He asks me to do – nothing else. That – for me – is ‘keeping my eye on the ball’.
In every heart – in our deepest part of our soul – we have a ‘God space’ – that no one else can go. It is our ‘secret place’ with Him alone. Others can not fill us up – it is for Him alone. When we try to fill it with other things in life – or other people – thinking these things will be enough and satisfy – we are easily distracted and disappointed – become discouraged and can be depressed. Especially when our self-worth depends on what others think and say about us or to us directly. When we keep our eyes on Him alone – the rest does not matter – we don’t need man’s approval – or advice to make us feel better. We can simply rest in Him.
I plan to ‘keep my eye on the ball’ – I will fail because I’m flawed and capable of really messing it up – but after I blow it – I will again pick myself back up and find my focus once again. I know I will be distracted by ‘well meaning’ people who try to sway me in one direction or another – but my goal is to be secure in spite of these obstacles – and be confident enough in myself – even when others don’t agree – even when things are slipping out of my hands and my world is shaken – even when I don’t handle it right with people. I want to be solid and unswayed in my belief that I only need to answer to God alone – and NOT take my focus off what I know He is calling me to do.
What is God calling you to do? Do you stand alone? Are there many distractions and troubles? Is your heart heavy from the weight of it? Welcome to the club! Welcome to life. Hold on weary traveler – don’t lose your focus – or be weary in well-doing. Keep your eye on the ball.