I suppose I’ve always been the athletic sort, and that’s why, when I was a little older, I joined our church softball league team. Never mind that this league was more for fun and fellowship than anything else. Everyone who played was very competitive and took it quite seriously. That’s how I found myself playing center field in my very first game. As the fastest player on the team, it made sense to put me at a position that had to do the most running. Fly balls, line-drives, warning track catches at the fence. I was good enough to catch them all…but only if I kept my eyes up.
You see, that’s how most sports work. Hitting a golf ball? You got to keep your eye on the ball. Catching a 40 yard pass on the football field? Better keep yours eyes up and on the ball. Fielding pop-flys in a church softball league? You still have to keep your eyes on the ball. If I took my eyes off the ball for even a few seconds, my chances of dropping the catch would increase dramatically. Just like in sports, many endeavors in life require our full focus and attention.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
This is a very powerful text in its instruction and its simplicity. If you belong to Christ, if you call yourself a Christian and truly desire to put God first in your life, then you will set your eyes and your heart on things above…on godly things. You see, it’s very difficult, and I submit, almost impossible to keep our eyes focused on God if all we think about is this world. It’s also true that if our focus is primarily on God, we will not be as distracted or worried over the things in our mortal life. This is the premise of Philippians 4:6-7…
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When we take our cares and anxieties and offer them to God in prayer; when we keep our eyes on him and his loving kindness, we find a peace that goes beyond anything we can comprehend. This type of focus is admittedly difficult. Let’s be honest. There’s a lot in our daily lives that can keep us from thinking about God. That’s why we must be vigilant in our attempts to put God first. It’s why we may have to whittle away some of the time-stealers and attention-grabbers in our lives and replace them with time spent with God’s word, in prayer, or in fellowship with other Christians.
So keep your eyes up and your heart attuned to God. If not, you may very well miss out on all the wonderful things he has in store for you.