“Are you blind?” I screamed at the basketball official.
I screamed that as a statement as opposed to the question it ended up being. Truth be told, I wasn’t looking for a response. To be exact, I should have just yelled out… “You are Blind!!!” That would have been more appropriate for the situation. Either way… I made my point and then he made his. He stopped the game and he came ever so close to giving me my first technical foul of my career. He walked calmly over to me and asked me if I would kindly sit and keep my comments to myself. For the record, in over 10 years of coaching I had never received a technical foul. That is not to say I probably didn’t deserve one… I am sure I did. This story is a confirmation of the fact that I should have received one.
As I look back at that time in my life, I am amazed that I really reacted like that. Some twenty years after I coached my last high school game, I am convinced that I took it way too serious. In truth, I wanted to win so bad that at times my heart hurt when we lost. Looking back, I think it was way more important to me than it was for the kids. A few minutes after the game they would be laughing and being teenagers and I was still so ramped up that I would get angry at their lack of concern of losing the game. I was a fool and there are a few memories that still haunt me to this day.
There are times I wish I could go back and show them the proper way to react to a loss. I would love to show them that the greatest lessons in life were those I learned when I failed. To be sure… I am not the man I used to be. God has a way humbling those that need it and He wasted no time in putting me in my place as I sojourned my way through this life. The truth is that I have learned that none of that ever mattered and some of the very events in my life that I thought were so critical to success in this life are so insignificant.
In the grand scheme of things, to be honest, “your life” is not even an event on the timeline of eternity. It’s a blip. Not even a ripple on the vast ocean of time. An almost insignificant dimple on the page of history. But much like the vision of the basketball official, our vision is so limited, we only see “now” and fail to focus on some amazing things that are truly important to our lives. We need to focus our sight on things that truly matter.
Frankly, we all need glasses. Most of the people I know are badly near-sighted. Their vision is only able to focus on “here” and “now”. Their decisions and desires are all based on this life….taking care of retirement, saving for “the future” and making decisions to “make them happy.” Their vision is on an amazingly small part of eternity that is called “life”. Everything they do, every decision they make and even how they spend their time is based on their near-sighted focus on “life” and “now” as it relates to their time here on earth. God makes it very clear in His Word that our lives we are short in light of eternity.
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14
There is a better way…
Our vision of God is so blurry because we rarely try to focus solely on Him. It’s hard for us to get this most amazing God in focus and so for most of us our vision is quite blurry about who He is, what He’s like, what He thinks about me. We are too focused on our own issues that we miss the opportunities to get to know Him. Having the focus on ourselves will make it hard for us to focus on anything else beyond our near-sighted world. It will make it hard for us to see what our life could be.
The desire of my heart is to now focus on eternity. Most people have no clue as to what “eternity” really means. We simply can’t imagine it. It’s just so….eternal! Forever and ever. I think that’s why it’s so blurry to our vision. I want the right kind of spiritual glasses so that I can focus on eternal things.
Here’s the part of this that must come into focus for all of us. What we do with Christ in this life will determine our eternal destiny. We have this “blip” of a life to make decisions about Him and those decisions will determine our eternity ahead. The very reason Jesus became a man was to provide a solution for our eternal problem. He said, “God loves you so much that He sent me to die for your sins. If you will believe in me I will give you eternal life.”
The implication is clear, if you don’t believe in Him (trust Him for salvation) then you have what every man has apart from faith in Christ – eternal death. It is the most important thing we could possibly do with our lives, the most important decision we will ever make and yet our focus is on “now” and “happiness” and “our needs.”
I know, in my own life, I live most of my days with the distant horizon out of focus, but I’m praying for a vision for eternity, eyes that look into the days ahead and make decisions today because they will affect me for all of eternity. I’m praying for eyes to see, so that I can make decisions for eternity and not just for today.
I so wish for you to focus your eyes on eternity and Jesus Christ for your Salvation.
Eternity awaits, all you have to do is focus…