Like many parents, Pam and I had to juggle our schedules when our sons were young in order to accommodate the various sports they were playing. With two sons of different ages who enjoyed different sports, the process sometimes seemed to require higher math, especially when we included working around our responsibilities. On more than one occasion, I lamented that some coaches seemed to think the team they coached was the only thing that mattered.
With several sports, with the exception of wrestling, a common principle was "keep your eye on the ball". Keep your eye on the baseball and see the bat hit the ball; keep your eye on the soccer ball to anticipate where you may have to go; keep your eye on the football to see if you need to adjust who you are going after; keep your eye on the golf ball in your swing. "Keep your eye on the ball" is a biblical principle adapted to the arena of sports.
No, we won't find the words "keep your eye on the ball" in the Bible. We do however, find the principle of proper focus in order to succeed in our journey as God's people. When the Israelites were crossing the Jordan river, they were told to follow the Ark of the Covenant. Following the Ark meant keeping it in sight "their eye was on the ball". Our journey on this side of heaven also requires that we maintain our eyes on a guide post (another version of "keep your eye on the ball"). The eleventh chapter of Hebrews has been called "The great faith chapter" or "the great witness chapter" because it speaks of the faith of many of God's people over the centuries. It is written to remind the reader of great testimonies and also remind us that we have been promised something better.
The chapter that follows gives us the words: [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.] To lay aside the weights of life and sins that are a hindrance to our spiritual growth and journey, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. To look elsewhere will not contribute to the success of our efforts.
Let's keep our eyes on Jesus as we journey through this day,