Over the past few years, our family has been getting more and more involved in sports. We have a son who is active in baseball, football, and basketball. He is finding a love for each one of these sports and wants to get better at each one. My husband was an athlete in all of these sports in high school and had great coaching. Because of his experience, he is able to give instructional critique to our son. One thing he reminds our son of frequently is that no matter what sport he is playing, the most important part of the game is the ball. To get better, he needs to focus on getting better at how he handles the ball while abiding by the rules set forth in each sport. If you don’t take care of the ball, your game will suffer and your team could potentially lose. By understanding the rules of the game and constantly working to get better, he will see growth in what he accomplishes.
This made me think about our spiritual life. Isn’t it true that when we focus on God, by spending time in worship, prayer, fasting, and studying, we grow spiritually? But when we lose focus on any one of these, another area of life suffers. Just like my son wants to get better at a sport by dedicating time to focus on how he handles the ball, we need to direct our focus in the right way to be able to experience spiritual growth. For God, we are His focus. He designed each of us with a purpose and knows how we will function best in life. We have to make God our focus to be able to grow spiritually and to know how to play the game of life to the fullest. Just like my son choosing to work at each sport by learning how to focus on protecting the ball, we have to choose to focus on the ways we can grow closer to Jesus to protect our hearts. We have to work hard at being dedicated to prayer time, devotions, studying the Word, and worshipping. In the end, we will have the best win ever! Choose to focus on your spiritual growth.
Therefore, holy brothers, partners in a heavenly calling, keep your focus on Jesus,
the apostle and high priest of our confession.
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.