Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.
Colossians 3:2 (HCSB)
The batter stands at the plate, gripping the bat. His eyes focus on the pitcher standing a little more than 60 feet away. The pitcher takes his signal from the catcher and throws. In the briefest span of time it takes the ball to travel to the plate, the batter’s eyes watch the stitches on the ball, looking for some clue as to whether the pitch coming towards him is a fastball or a curveball. Will it drop suddenly as it reaches him, or will it curve outward away from him?
The batter swings, a home run swing if only he had connected! But the ball goes foul into the stands.
The camera follows the ball and television viewers see kids and adults alike scrambling for the ball, chasing it down as if it were the most valuable treasure. Nearby fans applaud when someone finally comes up with the ball, holding it high for all to see. It becomes something to take home and show friends and family.
The camera then switches to the one of the coaches in the dugout. He does not know what happened to the ball. He did not watch it as it flew into the stands. It is irrelevant to him. His keen eyes are focused on the field, watching to see what is going to happen next. The next pitch may mean the difference between winning or losing this game, and the coach is already strategizing. The foul ball is already forgotten.
I saw this one day as I watched a baseball game, and the contrast between the celebration in the stands over claiming a useless souvenir to take home and the coach’s focus on the game in front of him was stark. I immediately wondered how many times I’ve been chasing foul balls in my life when I should have been focused on what is in front of me. How often have I allowed my walk with Christ to be sidetracked by trivialities?
Yet I don’t believe I am alone in this. Too many times we believers allow ourselves to chase after the foul balls of our lives, rather than stay focused on the game in front of us. It’s a very human tendency.
That’s why the Scriptures in many different places urge us to stay focused. Jesus urged us to stay focused on the things of God: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matthew 6:33). “Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth,” Paul admonished us in Colossians 3:2. At one point he looked at his life and declared that he was forgetting everything behind him and was focusing everything he had on what was ahead: “... the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Today let’s decide we are going to leave “Foul Ball Christianity” behind us.
–Rocky Henriques, www.uticbc.com