Those of you who have played outfield in baseball or softball know how difficult it can be to run after a fly ball to make a catch. It becomes a very tedious task when the head is bouncing up and down and around during the run, for it affects the eyesight to stay steady on the ball. The solution is to run on the toes as smoothly as possible. By doing so, outfielders are better able to keep their head still with less jarring for a better view of the ball while it is in flight.
The same principle of keeping your head still is applicable to living the Christian life, according to Apostle Paul. At one point, he encouraged the church folk at Colossae to “continue in the faith grounded and settled.” They were to ensure faithfulness to their profession of faith in Jesus Christ to come to a completed end, and, to enhance the process, they were to be completely decided about it. That same expectation is true for all believers in Christ.
But, to best accomplish this spiritual commitment, Paul told them, “…and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel.” This term in the Greek is associated with movement of the head. So, in so many terms, he told them (as he tells us) to keep your head still! As you “run the race” of the Christian faith, do not let your spiritual sight be jarred off of the objective.
The objective, of course, has to do with living the Christian faith and life in such a way that brings God honor and glory. And, that is accomplished by keeping our head still on the expectations of God. After all, there is much that goes on in life that easily distracts our attention.
We find correlations to this principle of keeping our head still from this particular context of Scripture. What are points to consider that help us keep our head still during our Christian run through life?
One thing Paul prayed on their behalf was that they “might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” In other words, having the edge of spiritual perspective helps keep our head still. A spiritual perspective of life events helps us maintain focus on the objective.
Ethel Cokely was for decades a faithful servant of the Lord at Willow Island Baptist Church nears St. Marys, West Virginia. While I was the pastor there, her health took a plunge. She got to the point where she did not have the energy or strength to do the things that she had been doing.
But, spiritually, she kept her head still on the objective by maintaining a spiritual perspective. She kept sight on the will of God with a spiritual understanding of her life. Instead of giving up, she vowed to keep on doing what she could for the Lord—-and, she did! She remains the most inspirational Christian I have ever had privilege with whom to serve.
It, oh, most certainly, helps when we view the ups and downs, the ins and outs, and turn arounds in life with spiritual perspective of what the Lord may be allowing to occur in our lives. Spiritual perspective may not answer all our questions and concerns in detail, but it gives us enough understanding to cope victoriously.
Another point made by Apostle Paul for keeping your head still involves the strength of God. Paul pointed out, “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”
Keeping your head still takes requires vigorous effort, for it takes patience. Keeping your head still takes longsuffering. Keeping your head still takes strength. It just does. There is no doubt about it. There is a necessary discipline involved. The victorious Christian employs a sense of spiritual strength of keeping the head still through the disciplines of patience and longsuffering.
The outfielder is like that when chasing down a fly ball. It takes athletic discipline to make the successful catch.
“Do not be moved away from the hope of the Gospel,” which is instructive for keeping your head still.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.