Focus In Chaos
Jesus said, "Come." And Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, "Lord save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus said, "Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:22-33
Years ago when I first started coaching high school players, I made the mistake of throwing far too much at them in a short period of time. After just getting out of college, I tried to install things my players were not even close to being able to implement, but concepts that seem familiar and easy to me.
As a result, I had a quarterback who could perform drills quite well, but he used to lock up frequently or take off running in the games. We met and he admitted to me that everything seemed chaotic after the snap of the ball and he was not sure what he was looking at. He was lost. The rush was getting to him, comments from the defense would shake him, and overall he was ineffective. I decided to go back to basics with him and we designed plays and routes that began by his looking at the strong safety. This told him the certain coverages we were going to be facing. The quarterback literally focused on this defensive player all through his pre-snap and live action progression. He found success. I asked him what happened and he just smiled and said, "I don't really hear or feel anything else. I just kind of watch what he does and it tells me what to do. Knowing who to look at makes me relax."
Among the pads, the blocks, the yelling, the band, the whistles, and the bright lights, he found complete peace and focus by watching one person.
In Matthew, Peter walks on the water toward Christ. He does absolutely fine until conflict arises, the winds shake him, and distractions abound. Just like my quarterback, Peter needed to focus on one man and ignore the chaos around him. As players and coaches, we know how important focus is for success. In the Christian life it is no different. When we focus on the Lord we can walk among the waves without fear, but when our eyes shift to the pass rush, the pressure, and the adversity before us, then we lose hope and begin to sink.
Thankfully, the Lord is there to pull us up out of the waves and put us back in the game when we do falter.
- Are you watching Christ or letting the world's defense get the best of you?
- What sort of things can take your eyes off of Christ? How can you prevent the distraction?
- Just as my quarterback needed my advice, how critical is it to have someone "coach" you in the Christian life?
- Matthew 6:33
- Psalm 40: 1-2
- Philippians 4:13
Lord, help us to focus on you the first thing in the morning when we wake up through the evening when our eyes close to end the day. May we never let the voices of the world stop us from being effective for you. May we never let the chaos around us take us out the game and make us lose hope. By watching you Lord, you will show us what to do.