FaithBridge seeks to be Christ-centered, fixing our eyes on Jesus, both His person and His work, as the basis for a transformed life on earth and the foundation of eternal life. Christ is the source of all life and all meaning.
“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.”
I’m not a golfer. Not counting putt-putt, I’ve played golf three times and been to a driving range twice. When I have been out on the course gaining all that experience, I joke about getting my money’s worth because I get to hit the ball more than everyone else. And I’m OK with that. To me, golf has been fun, but it’s not something I love so much that I’m ready to invest any time or money into it.
Yet despite my incredible lack of experience and knowledge about the sport, there’s one thing I do know: don’t take your eye off the ball. I’m not sure exactly when I first heard that but do remember clearly that after swinging with all my might and missing the little white ball more times than I care to admit, someone reminded me on what my eyes should be focused. And with one more attempt to swat that thing in any direction with club-ball contact being my only goal, I successfully hit it across a field. Not that far and not necessarily toward the green, but I hit it…and that’s all that mattered.
Hebrews 12 is immediately after Hebrews 11, the chapter often referred to as “heroes of faith.” And it’s worth noting what’s at the start of chapter 12 because of the list of people that it follows. It should catch our attention. These men and women focused on what God promised and acted accordingly, even when they didn’t live long enough to see the Lord’s promises fulfilled. It’s at this point that the writer tells us to “fix our eyes on Christ.”
And if we didn’t so easily lose focus, we wouldn’t need to be reminded.
Life about two thousand years ago, when these words were written, and life now have a few things in common: there are daily chores to do, hungry mouths to feed, crying children to comfort, arguing siblings to referee, jobs with deadlines to complete, family conflict to navigate and sinful temptations that entice, among other things. There probably thousands of opportunities each and every day for us to be distracted and either unintentionally or intentionally take our minds off Christ. But when we do, we often miss that at which we are aiming. We don’t intend to be rude with those closest to us, but we forget that Christ oozes grace all over our own lives. We aren’t meaning to be negative, but we forget what the Lord has done for us in the past. We get greedy because we fail to notice all that God has provided. The list could go on.
The beauty of the Gospel is that as Jesus asks us to focus on Him and assures us that He will be there with the follow through. He tees us up with opportunities to love God and love others, and as our gaze is fixed upon Christ, He helps us hit the target that we sometimes can’t even yet see.