Are You Easily Distracted?

“I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.”
Psalm 119:15

How often have you heard a TV sports commentator or a coach talk about a player missing the catch or handoff, because he took his eyes off the ball? A good receiver “looks the ball” into his hands. His gaze is so fixed on the spiraling leather ball that a defender hitting him seems like a distant possibility. With similar focus, the running back charges to the line of scrimmage, relying upon the quarterback’s good eyes and timing to spot the ball into the pocket created with the runner’s arms.

The ultimate success of a football player depends greatly on excellent eye-hand coordination and cat-like quickness. Even defensive linemen have their special “eyes on the ball” drill. To help his linemen focus on the ball’s movement, Defensive Line Coach Mike Waufle uses a special football painted grass green and connected to a long string. As he snatches the ball from the turf, the linemen carefully time their charge with any movement in the ball. Waufle claims, “I like to see my linemen so focused on ball movement that they rivet their attention on the very tip of the ball. Usually a player will pick up that the ball is being snapped when the tip of the ball begins to move.” This split second reaction time can make the difference in delivering the attack or waiting for it to come to him.

A parallel concept comes to mind in my own spiritual battle. I know; it’s easy to get distracted and take my eyes off the ball, or in this case, Christ! But I’m not alone. Peter had the same problem. He was so impressed when he saw his Savior walking towards him on the water, he immediately responded, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Matt. 14:28. Peter is a lot like many of us—impulsively direct! He knew what he wanted. He wanted to be with Jesus!

Jesus said, “Come”. So, Peter fixed his gaze upon the Lord and stepped onto the water. At first, he walked on the water, and he walked straight toward Jesus. What happened to Peter next happens to all of us when we take our focus off the Master—we sink. Or, in football vernacular, we fumble the ball. “But when (Peter) saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” Matt. 14:30. Peter broke contact with Jesus the moment he fixated on the wind. Just like a receiver who becomes distracted with a defensive back closing in on him, his concentration was broken.

When we are truly focused upon our Lord with a prayerful life, our worship, and our actions, He Himself handles our problems and conquers our fears. He makes us strong, able to walk boldly and with
confidence (Proverbs 3:26). Maintaining our focus on Christ allows a proper perspective with less chance of major fumbles—and less concern with the “what if’s.”

The Power of Truth:

  • “… 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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith….” Hebrews 12:1b-2a
  • “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Prov. 4:25

Suggestion for Prayer:

If you find yourself distracted by worry, busyness, hobbies, or chasing after dreams, confess it and recommit to focusing on Christ once again. Ask God to create in you such a strong desire for Christ that nothing else even compares.