Pastor Steve Brown
Greetings to the Saints of St. Mark,
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21)
Even after watching the Masters Tournament last month, it still seems like golf should be a simple game. You can be any size or age to play golf and the same essential equipment can be used by anyone. And the fundamental requirement of the game is you have to keep your eye on the ball. This should be easy enough because the ball is not even moving like it is in many other sports. But many of us, as we get ready to swing, falter at this very point. Now it's not so much because of anything happening within our field of vision but it's really all the things "moving" within our minds and our thinking. Of course, there is the additional necessity of once having hit the ball to keep your eye on it so as to track it that one might find it again (hopefully hundreds of yards down the fairway--and not in the rough). This eye on the ball after the shot is also made tougher by being busy driving a golf cart, taking a sip of beverage, and talking to your playing partner because you (and, again, all those other thoughts in your heart) and...well, it seems golf's simplicity gives way to our distractions.
Driving a car lends itself to the same problem of distractions. Billboards seek to draw our eyes to the picture and the product (some of them even "rotate" electronically causing us to strain harder to catch a glimpse its message). It used to be the radio dial would grab our attention as we tried to tune into the music or the game but now it is cell phones and iPods and texting. And would you believe the number of accidents caused by persons turning their heads to look at a jogger or someone who "catches" their eye only to have the car in front of them stop? And have you ever missed a turn or gone past where you were headed because you were preoccupied by what you were thinking. You didn't take your eyes off the road but your thoughts "blocked" you from seeing what you're looking for?
I believe we see with our minds (obvious enough) but we also see with our hearts. There are many things clamoring for attention from radios and television to emails and texts. In the midst of all this, Jesus speaks a word to us about our focus and our hearts. He tells us to keep our eyes on the treasure. He understands our hearts tell us what we treasure. Our hearts tell us that God, our spouses, our children, our values, our souls are important and we should focus on them. Unfortunately, there are other desires within us that tell us to "treasure" lesser things like fame, selfish pleasure, avoidance, our wants, and a host of other things that cause us to live distracted lives and cause us to stumble as we go our way.
Jesus calls us to focus on the eternal rather than the fleeting, on loving God and those near us rather than letting our hearts--and our attention--pull us down or off track. Most of us know that the "traps" of life aren't just found on a golf course. There is an old song that reminds us to: turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Life is as simple as following our hearts and is easier when we keep our focus on the prize...the treasure...on Jesus.