The weather here in the south has been pretty cold as of late. We have actually had real snow twice in the last two months. I think that may be a record. (Honestly.) We usually only get ice here, and ice sucks. I mean, you can’t play in it, and it wreaks havoc on the roads. It is kind of pretty to look at, but not worth it with all the down trees and power lines it causes. Snow—the real stuff—is so much better.
That being said, I am tired of cold weather. Ok, I have never liked cold weather, so even after about a week of it, I am tired of it. Hey, I was born and raised in the south, what can I say? This is also why I will never be able to live anywhere but the south. (Or, at least anywhere that is not warm at least 75 percent of the year.) My body doesn’t do well in the cold. I digress.
Anyway, God blessed us this past weekend. We had beautiful weather. It got to 69 degrees on Sunday. It was a perfect day!
And, the kids in my neighborhood took advantage of it. (As did I.) In the evening, as I gathered Clancey for our walk, I could hear some of the kids playing baseball in the backyard of a neighbor’s house down the street. I could hear the thwack of the ball being caught in a leather mit. I could hear the bonk of the ball being hit off a wooden bat. I could hear the kids all yelling and having a good time. As Clancey and I were headed down the street I was thinking about how much I wanted to be a kid again and be out there with them. It was at that moment that I heard one of the kids say, “keep your eye on the ball.”
As we walked on down the street, I kept repeating that over and over in my head, “keep your eye on the ball, keep your eye on the ball.” I started wondering if I was keeping my eye on the ball. Then, my next thought was, as an adult, what does that even look like or mean? Immediately I realized that, to me, it means keeping my eyes on God. And, try as I might—and I have been trying mighty hard lately—I have not been doing the best job of that.
I try to write at least one blog post a week. I read two devotionals each day. I try to read some of my Bible every day. And, lately I have been reading up on how to pray better. (I really want to work on my prayer life. It is fast becoming a priority in my life.) There are great Christian blogs that I follow and read each week. I listen to a great contemporary Christian radio station going to and from work each day. I participate in a women's reading group where we read books by Christian authors and we meet every other week to discuss said books and pray and just visit with each other. I am honestly working to make God a priority in my life. And, I do truly know that He should be my ONLY priority. (I know that when we make God our top priority, everything else falls into place. God is cool like that. It is like magic!) Even with all this, I still feel my eyes drifting from the ball.
You do this too, I am sure. Why? Because we are humans. We are sinful by nature and often seek the desires of our flesh. And, the devil knows all of this. And, he uses it against us as much as he possibly can. And, sadly, sometimes it doesn’t take much. I know that he easily gets into my head and there are times when I have real trouble getting him out. Sometimes I find myself sinking pretty low and I can feel the devil just punching away at me. And, once you slip into the devil’s pit, it can be awfully hard to climb back up out of it.
I have realized that the devil knows when we are working extra hard to keep our eyes on God and he just jumps at the chance to work overtime on forcing our eyes elsewhere. That is when it becomes up to us to stay calm and keep our eye on the ball. It is just one of those things we need to remember each and every day. It is important in baseball and it is vital in our lives. (Especially our spiritual lives.)
I truly believe that we can get to a point in our lives where looking to God and keeping our eye on the ball can become second nature. I am striving to get there. But, again, because of my sinful nature, I want it right now. I have zero patience. But, I am working on that part of it too.
In the meantime, let’s help each other out. Let’s be kind to each other. Let’s be forgiving of each other. Let’s show each other grace, the way God does for us. In other words, let’s remind each other to keep our eye on the ball.
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.