Recently, we’ve discovered that our three sons are fast runners. This is something new to us because, we don’t know anything about running, but we’re learning.
The boys run mid-distance events in track and also do cross country. This new experience has been so cool, because we’re growing in it as a family and our boys are excelling.
What has surprised me is, some of the insights I’m learning parallel with us as ministry leaders. These insights paint a picture of running, that translates to where we are individually, and as the church at large.
With all that’s happening, it’s imperative we move forward with our Eyes Up, and Run Hard.
Notice why this is vital for any runner to succeed and finish strong. In an article titled, 3 Things Every Runner Needs to Do When Running, Zach Ripley says this about the eyes:
“Your head follows your eyes, your chest follows your head, and by the time you realize you’ve been staring at the ground for 30 minutes while running, you’ve probably inhaled 20% less oxygen than you could have if you were upright.”Zach Ripley
Notice, our head follows our eyes, and then our chest follows our head.
This is not only truth for runners, this is truth for us as ministry leaders.
When our eyes are on Jesus, everything follows and furthermore, like with runners, we’ll get the oxygen we need to run our race and finish strong.
But we know this, so why is it hard to do?
Have you noticed how easy it is to be distracted right now? We got iPhones, iPads, TV’s, laptops, gaming systems and on top of that, we have busy schedules. But that’s just our personal stuff. Think about being a ministry leader.
We have politics, COVID-19, social unrest, biblical debates, leadership failures and leadership changes, people not coming back to church and, yes, conspiracy theories. These are just some of the big things going on, but in reality, there’s so much more.
I didn’t even mention the pressure and responsibility we have being a ministry leader.
So yeah, it’s easy to be distracted and get our eyes looking away from Jesus, even if that’s not our intent. This is why we must be intentional, more than ever, in our personal relationship with God.
I love how the Bible says it in Hebrews 12:1-2,
“1. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
Notice, when our eyes are fixed on Jesus, the weights that slow us down and the sins that trip us up, are stripped off of us. We also finish strong because, Jesus is the Author and finisher of our faith. He knows the beginning and end. Meaning, he’s got my finish line in mind. He knows what he has for me; therefore, when my eyes are on him, I’m going to end up in what he has for me.
Isn’t this what we want? Of course!
This is why today, we must decide to move forward with Eyes Up, and Run Hard.
So in everything, we keep our eyes on Jesus.
When people hurt us, we look to Jesus. When we’re disappointed, we look to Jesus. When it doesn’t go the way we want, we look to Jesus. When we don’t understand, we look to Jesus. When we have success, we look to Jesus. When doors open, we look to Jesus. When our dream come true, we look to Jesus. We always, in everything, look to Jesus!
What are you looking at today? Where are you giving attention to?
Please remember, our head follows our eyes, and our chest follows our head. Before you know it, if our eyes aren’t on Jesus, we can go a wrong way.
So how can we keep our eyes on Jesus?
For me, I’m determined to be more thankful. The reality is, God has done so much for all of us and when we are thankful, it builds our faith and puts our attention on Jesus.
Being thankful keeps our perspective right and our heart clean. It’s so important that we live a lifestyle of Thanksgiving because it produces so much in our faith.
In fact, if we evaluate a time when we got distracted from keeping our eyes on Jesus, being unthankful can be linked to it.
This is because, when we’re not thankful, we’re focused on what hasn’t happened, the prayers that haven’t been answered, and the challenges we are facing. When this takes place, we drift from our eyes looking to Jesus, and we begin to look at other things.
So today, I encourage you to make a thanksgiving list.
Begin to recount what God has done both recently and over your lifetime. Then, let joy fill your heart because when we remember, it does something on the inside of us. We get the oxygen we need from heaven, that gives a second wind, leading us forward in our race.
I believe this, the best is yet to come for you and for me. God has a finish line that is great, and we can finish strong when we move forward with Eyes Up, and Run Hard.
I pray the goodness of God overwhelm you and that his peace fill you, like never before.
We love you,