Grace eagerly sat by the garage door awaiting her first adventure of the day. Her posture communicated excitement mixed with patience. Grace set herself by the door leading outside, poised for the journey ahead. Her stance revealed an expectant outlook. It stirred my heart.
I wondered about my posture as I begin each day. I often ask God to help me live devoted to Him through the day. Even so, I desire to live more expectant of God. I want to experience and know Him deeply through all of life’s encounters. Sometimes though, I lose my focus. Exhaustion and the demands of this world often keep me from God’s goodness, grace, and gifts.
Pause for a moment and wonder about your posture as you begin each day. Do you anticipate the adventure God has designed for your day? What simple prayer could you pray to start your day? Perhaps consider a morning simple prayer like: “God, help me enjoy the adventure You have planned for my day”. Or, “God, Fill me with delight as I walk with You today.”
The brisk morning air blew across my face as Grace and I enjoyed our morning walk. She exhibited great delight as she ran through the dirt and grass next to the paved walkway. Grace was living her best life when along the path, she discovered a pink and yellow ball. Grace enthusiastically carried this colorful gift in her mouth and dropped it at my feet.
For the next thirty minutes we played fetch as we walked the path together. Even though I don’t throw very far, Grace passionately chased the ball, captured it with her front paws, and tirelessly bounded back to drop it at my feet. Her eyes remained fixated upon the fuzzy, bouncy object.
It was evident the ball had been loved by more than just one four-legged friend. The interior rubber of the ball had broken in half, connected only by the fuzzy colorful outer fabric. For a few moments as I walked I carried the ball endeavoring to mash it together so it might bounce again. Grace trotted by my side, starring at the ball. She didn’t look at the other sights around her like bushes, songbirds, houses, or people; she kept her eye on the ball.
Ball – A round object, often a toy meant for tossing, rolling, and playing. A theoretical object of focus or pursuit; something that captures our attention.
Grace’s undistracted focus on the ball moved my soul. Her behavior reminded me of the baseball phrase, “keep your eye on the ball.” Grace paid attention to one thing – the ball. The baseball umpire instruction manual teaches umpires to keep their eye “everlastingly on the ball while it is in play.” (Rule 8.04) I love the word “everlastingly.” To what is my gaze fixed upon everlastingly in life? What are the “balls” in my life?
With torrential rains, flooding, and tornado alerts, the weather app on my phone recently captured my attention. Sometimes my calendar which reminds me of deadlines and appointments holds my focus. Other times, health, work, and ministry draw my attention. Subtly, my focus shifts to all that is around me. Yet, I want God to capture my gaze “everlastingly.”
To what is your gaze focused upon these days? What are the “balls,” the objects of focus, in your life? Has your attention shifted from God to the draw of the world?
Perhaps like me you also notice those upon whom your eyes center: a distracted driver, an irritable co-worker, the homeless person on the street corner, or an unhealthy friend. We might also place focused attention upon our kids, spouse, friend, ministry partner, or spiritual companion. Nevertheless, what if we concentrated on God? How might centering on God impact what gathers our focus as well as who grabs our allegiance?
About whom are you thinking; who occupies your thoughts and heart throughout the day? Is it time to shift your focus to God?
Grace appeared to only think of and watch for one object: the ball. She enjoyed this gift and it harnessed her focus. I find myself wanting to take an inventory of the focal points in my life.
How can I live everlastingly focused on God? What about you? Can I live so captivated by God that the things of this world lose their draw to my soul? Can you? Will I live seeking first God and His kingdom? Will you seek God first?
Do we each live looking for God and His adventurous invitations toward growth and maturity? Is it time for our posture to change?
When life feels hard, disappointing, and challenging, we oftentimes seek God and His ways from a position of desperation. What if we intentionally focus on God not just when things are tough, but when our days feel free and full? Let’s seek God with the same fervor, and look to Him in both the hard as well as the good of life. God summons our gaze on every kind of day. His loving presence is everlasting, and giving Him our attention is good.
Perhaps, like Grace, you find yourself enjoying the best of life right now; look for God’s goodness and gifts. Or, maybe life feels dissonant, tense, and painful; seek God and His loving presence with you. Thankfully God is there, wherever we are. Look with intention to God and allow Him to hold you in His grace and guide you with His love.
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.
Colossians 3:1-2 – Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Trevor Hudson. Seeking God: Finding Another Kind of Life with St. Ignatius and Dallas Willard. Colorado Springs, CO. 2022.
Lisa Whittle. Jesus Over Everything: Uncomplicating the Daily Struggle to Put Jesus First. Nashville, TN. 2020.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
CeCe Winans. The Goodness of God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sE5kEnitqE
Consumed by Fire. First Things First.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpTOcZN9JB4
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
May 28 – June11 – Quarryville, PA
Black Rock Retreat – Soul care and teaching for the Black Rock Staff.