When my daughter Kennedy was four years old she played on a pee-wee soccer team. We signed her up in hopes that she would have a fun outlet for her overflowing, youthful energy.
On the afternoon of her first practice, I saw great promise! She was all business as she fearlessly ran after the ball and fixed her eyes and efforts on getting the soccer ball into the goal.
I was stoked! A competitive athlete myself, I began to envision Kennedy as Mia Hamm junior. In my mind, she was about to take pee-wee soccer to a whole new level. Surely the Olympic team would be sending me emails about their need for her in just a few short years!
When we got home, she was elated and exhausted, fully in love with her new sporty endeavor. Pride swelled in my mama heart as I gave my husband the run down on practice and assured him that we had a very serious four-year-old competitor on our hands. For a week, I bragged to family and friends about my little soccer girl and told them of her “eye of the tiger” mentality.
Thrilled to see his future-Olympian-soccer-playing daughter in action, my husband Brad took Kennedy to her second practice. As they drove off, I waved like a prom queen swollen with promise – eagerly anticipating an exciting report of her skills and focus upon their return.
When they got home, however, Brad surprised me with his recount of what had gone down on and off the field that day. It seems that during this second practice Kennedy did not have a competitive eye of the tiger. Instead, she had a playful desire to catch the eye of her father. All throughout practice – even in the middle of drills – she continually ran to the sidelines where Brad was watching to get a drink from her water bottle or simply a kiss or a hug from her daddy.
Clearly, her eyes were on the prize of another kind! A better kind.
What a beautiful picture. Kennedy was delighting in the love of her father – constantly running to him with arms open wide. She ran to be refreshed in him. She ran to have her thirst quenched in his presence.
Oh, the lessons we can learn from children! This is how we should run to God and be loved by Him! Jesus taught that we are to approach and accept the kingdom of God as a little child does: simply.
Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17, ESV)
This causes me to wonder, do I really have a child-like faith? Do I run to God all throughout my days and approach Him with confidence as one who is greatly loved? Do I trust that His gaze is fixed on me or do I believe the lie that He is distant, unseeing and uncaring? Do I focus on the mountains before me or on the Mountain Maker who is able to do exceedingly above and beyond what I can ask or imagine?
It is so easy for us to fix our eyes on the mundane instead of the majestic. So easy to focus on our jobs, our challenges, our failures, our disappointments, our relationships, and our goals! The prize of a better kind awaits each of us who recognizes that the true reward of life is found in Jesus Christ.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:8).
God is your reward.
Trust that when you look to Him, He’s looking right back at you. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry… (Psalm 34:15).
Trust that when you run to Him, He’s running right back to you. Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep…How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! (Psalm 36:5-7)
Today, …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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Eyes on the Prize, friend.
Dear Lord, Thank You for Your love and compassion. Forgive me to for the times I run straight ahead in life without so much as glancing your way or considering your ways. Today I run to your wide-open arms and give thanks for the redemption, rest and restoration I find in you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
COMPLETE this sentence as a comment below: “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on ______________ and will instead fix my eyes on You.”
Are you struggling to trust that God’s love can bring beauty to your life? Learn how God wants to bring you beyond your past heart-wounds and your present challenges to His wholeness, strength and beauty. Broken into Beautiful is a book filled with stories – real stories … gritty and honest, not cleaned up and phony.