By Josh Gores
“Keep your eye on the ball!” That’s what my little league coach always told me. I’d step to the plate, grip my bat tightly, and when the ball came, I would swing as straight as I could and as hard as I could (eyes sometimes closed) assuming that by doing so, I was bound to hit a homerun. Keep your eye on the ball is one of those basic lessons that little league coaches all around America teach in order to train up kids in the foundations of sport. It’s a message that’s relevant in baseball, where keeping your eye on the ball can ensure good contact or not swinging at a bad pitch. It’s important to the game of soccer where, if you take your eye off the ball, you’re bound to have your pass slide under your foot. And in basketball, if you don’t keep your eye on the ball you’ll end up on a blooper highlight reel as the ball slides through your hands and smacks you in the face. The message is so simple, so basic, and yet maybe that’s exactly why it’s easy overlook. A receiver anticipating the move he’ll make to juke the defender after the catch. The ball hits him in the hands and falls because he was already looking up field. “Keep your eye on the ball” is not just a simple message in sports; it applies to our walk with the Lord as well.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” –Hebrews 12:1-2
We are to keep our eye on Jesus Christ; we are to keep the gospel at the forefront of this race. Too often, we can lose sight of Jesus to run after other things, even “good” things. We get caught up in a new job and just tell ourselves that we have to put the time in and work each night and that once we have arrived, then we’ll look at bringing the family back to church or praying together each night. We neglect to read the Word claiming we’re too tired or we’re too busy or we don’t understand it and so our Bible lies dormant on the night stand. We’re the first ones in the door when the church opens and the last to leave, always looking to serve and serve and serve and yet, somewhere down the road there came a time where we stopped serving out of love for Jesus and it became a duty we do because, if we didn’t, it just wouldn’t get done.
Christian, keep your eyes on Jesus!
Run the race set before you. Look to Christ, dwelling in His love, His rest, and His holiness. He is the author of our faith; he is the reason that we live and move and breathe. The things that we do in His name and for His kingdom are most magnified when our eyes are set on Him.
We need to come back to our first love, come back to the foundational truth, and keep our eyes on Jesus.