Monday, June 21, 2010

Keep Your Eye On the Ball

I often take my dog, Sunny, to the beach for a swim. He loves the water almost as much as he loves his tennis ball. He’s a golden retriever and swims like a river otter. He will go to any length to retrieve anything I throw. 

Robbie Lee and I taught him to swim when he was very young. By teaching him to swim I mean, we put him in the water and said, “Okay boy, swim to mama.” He splashed around like a frightened child at first, but then it wasn’t long before he was swimming around like a pro. 

When I want to control Sunny at the beach or anywhere else for that matter, all I have to do is hold his tennis ball in my hand. He never takes his eyes off of it, not even for a second. He has to know where it is every second, just in case I decide to throw it, because then it is his sworn duty to run, jump on it and bring it back to me. Well, he doesn’t always bring it back to me; sometimes he just runs around with the ball in his mouth. 

His tennis ball is his most prized possession. People can gather around him, or dogs can bark at him to come and play, but when I have the tennis ball in my hand, his eyes are always on the ball. He completely ignores everything and everyone around him and is totally focused on the ball in my hand. He doesn’t look left and he doesn’t look right; the ball is the only object he sees. He is obsessed with the tennis ball. 

As crazy as it sounds, the determined focus of my goldie made me think about my Christian walk. The Bible tells us numerous times to keep our eyes focused on Jesus; to focus straight ahead. 

Proverbs 4:25 tells us, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith . . .” 

Why are we asked to fix our eyes on Jesus? How can we with so much going on around us? The Bible is very adamant on this point because if we allow our eyes to focus on the terrible things happening in the world we will lose hope, lose heart, lose joy, and, in the end, lose our way. 

II Corinthians 4:18 tells us, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 

Focusing on things in this life means to rely on something that is here today and gone tomorrow. Focusing on Jesus is focusing on forever. 

Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” If we keep our eyes on Christ, all of our needs will be met. It is a decision we have to make every day. We have to be determined to fix our eyes on Christ instead of on the world. In Job 31:1 Job said he even made a covenant with his eyes as to what he would allow his eyes to take into his heart. 

So let’s take a lesson from Sunny and keep our eye on the ball, so to speak. Let’s make a covenant with our eyes and be determined to keep them focused on Christ instead of the world around us. 

Excerpt from "Life is a Buffet So What's On Your Plate?" Copyright © 2009 by Polly D. Boyette "All Rights Reserved"

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