What I read today;
Hebrews 12-13; John 4-5; Amos 5-6; Proverbs 9; Job 41; Deuteronomy 12
I played baseball when I was growing up. At first, I was not a very good player. But as the years went by I became a reasonably good player. The thing about baseball is that if your not careful you can lose yourself to boredom. As the game goes on, there are extended periods where the ball won’t be hit to you. When your team is at bat, all you can do is sit in the dugout and watch as other players take their turns trying to get a hit. Usually, the worst player on the team is relegated to right field, so there is a little chance of a ball coming his way.
There was this one particular time that I was very guilty of not paying attention. My sophomore year, we were playing in Crystal Lake, IL. I had gotten a double to lead off the inning and was standing at second base. With two outs, my teammate walked and headed to first base. I began to casually stroll to third base. Suddenly, the catcher fired the ball to third base, and I was tagged out. I had thought someone was on first base. Standing there with egg on my face, my coach could only shake his head in disbelief.
I had completely lost my focus and lost track of the situation around me.
As Christians, we can be guilty of doing the same thing. We fail to see the world around us, pulling us away from what is truly important in our lives. We fail to see our lives crumble as we pay little or no attention to our faith.
That’s why the writer to the Hebrews tells us;
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” NRSV
I actually like the old NIV translation, which says it this way, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.”
If I had been paying attention to my coach, I would have seen him put his hands up and wave me back to the safety of the bag. In our lives, if we would fix our gaze on Jesus and listen to him, our faith would always be on steadier ground.