Those of you who know me well, know how much I love my sports. We are currently in the thick of March Madness, the nickname given to the season-ending college basketball tournament. Last night I found myself trying to watch three different basketball games and a hockey game all while watching a movie. I generally don’t touch the remote at my house, but my thumbs sure got a workout last night. I did happen to catch two goals in the hockey game. But I missed four. I saw a game-winning last second shot in one of the basketball games. But I missed a historic comeback in the last minute of another. Though I got the gist of it, it’s hard to tell how much of the movie I missed while trying to keep track of the games. My lack of focus on any one thing was somewhat comical at the time, but then God pointed out the painful truth of the matter this morning during my quiet time.
The truth is that my attention is divided in much more important matters than what’s showing on TV. Jesus promises that we WILL have trouble in this world. Some of us currently have more than others, but none of us are immune to it. As Pastor Chris often reminds us, “Everybody’s dealing with something.” If you’re like me and your attention frequently gets diverted to your trouble, you’ll soon find yourself drowning. That’s what happened to Peter when Jesus invited him to walk on water…
“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.” Matthew 14:29-30 NLT
The key to staying afloat in this troublesome world is to fix your eyes on Jesus, giving Him your undivided attention. His power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
During this Holy Week, Christians generally have a heightened awareness of just how much Jesus suffered on our behalf. He made the ultimate sacrifice when He gave His very life for ours. If He can do that, then surely we can endure whatever obstacles await us in our own races. Whatever troubles you are facing, I pray you will just keep putting one foot in front of the other. By not giving up, you’ll reach the finish line and taste victory at just the right time. And it’ll be sweeter than the candy in the Easter basket! Victory is ours because Jesus defeated death. That’s cause for celebration—
(When the movie ended last night, they announced that there would be an encore presentation of the movie airing on its sister channel next week. After all that…ugh!)