I am at home with our 8 month old daughter, Sadie. My wife has our 2 older girls at the dentist for check-ups. I have been rolling around on the floor with Sadie, playing and trying to make her laugh. I am also using this time to help her work on her vocabulary, primarily the all important word “da-da.” She has been able to say it for a couple weeks now, but I am trying to up the frequency of this glorious utterance.
This is only my second time to have Sadie all alone, so it is fun to have some “one-on-one” time without any distractions. I love it when I know I have her attention. I try to hold it as long as possible, the only problem is, there are SO many distractions. An object doesn’t need to do anything more than wiggle or be shiny in order to completely steal her attention away from me. In fact, my competitors are not limited to those who can move or shine; I am up against any and all things that are small enough to fit in her hand, anything that can be chewed on, anything that makes noise, anything that can be banged against something else, anything that is in arms reach, anything that is colorful…Basically, everything else in the room has the potential to be more interesting than me.
But how can this be?!? I am her dad! How do I keep losing out to small plastic things? Even when I am trying to feed her, and I have what she needs and wants she keeps getting distracted from me!
I can’t help but see the similarity between her and I. And not just because she is my daughter and incredibly cute, but because I get distracted from my father pretty easily as well.
Just like her I am surrounded by things that compete to take my eyes off of my Dad. When I take the time to think about it, my life is full of things that are all too capable of becoming distractions; work, bills, television, working out, fantasy football, facebook, friends… Things that aren’t in themselves bad can become bad when they distract me from Him.
I know that my desire to have my daughter look at me is a silly analogy. It is basically just a dad who enjoys having his daughter’s attention. But when it comes fixing our eyes on the Lord, the stakes are a good bit higher. Hebrews 12:1 says, “…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily entangles us. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” We are talking about some pretty serisous things here. This verse is talking about things in our lives that will tangle us up and slow us down. It is talking about getting rid of things in our lives that will prevent us from being the man or woman God had called us to be, or worse yet, stop us keep us from being a man or woman of God all together.
Thankfully, the writer continues and tells us exactly how to avoid these potential disasters. Hebrews 12:2, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of our faith.”
Fixing my “eyes” on the Lord is not simply so he can feel good about himself, although I believe he does enjoy it. It is a safe guard against things that weigh me down, slow me down, entangle me and hinder me.