I watch a lot of football each week, and have great respect for how tough playing at the highest level must be. However, I’m always still amazed when an NFL player drops a wide open pass – especially when it goes right through his hands.

If you think of your favorite team, I’m sure either a wide receiver, running back, or tight end has dropped a crucial pass this year. There have also probably been a few drops that have cost your team a chance at the win.

 So why do players drop passes? Aren’t they taught to watch the ball all the way into their hands? Don’t they realize they can’t score the touchdown unless they complete the catch and keep their eye on the ball? 

Ultimately, it comes down to a lack of focus. They might shift their attention to the end zone, or worry too much about the defense, or start thinking about their own glory before even making the catch. 

Even the best wide receivers get distracted at times and must remind themselves of the simple saying, “Keep your eyes on the ball.”

When it comes to our own lives, we can also get distracted and lose focus on what’s most important. When we shift our attention away from Jesus by dwelling on the wrong things, or worrying too much, or thinking about our own glory, we can start dropping the ball too. 

I think the Christmas season is like a wide open catch. You’d assume that thinking about Jesus would be easy (since the holiday is rooted in Him), but for some reason we allow distractions to shift our focus on everything else going on.

I love Christmas movies…songs…eggnog…cookies…traditions…and gifts, but unfortunately I can very easily put all of my attention on those things and forget to ponder the truth and power behind Jesus coming to earth.

A player can enjoy everything that comes after securing the catch, but first he must keep a strong focus on the ball. Likewise, all the Christmas activities are more fruitful and worthwhile when we first keep the proper focus on Jesus. This truth isn’t just for Christmas, but for our entire journey in this world.

Hebrews 12:2 in the Amplified Bible translation explains how we go through life with endurance and persistence by “…[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].”

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope we are all challenged to keep our focus on the One who came to us, so that we may have salvation…true life…joy…and hope. I’m Bryce Johnson and you canunpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you so much for sending your Son to earth to redeem me and give me eternal life. I admit to daily getting caught up in the wrong things (especially this time of year), but I pray You would give me the strength to fix my eyes on Jesus. I desire to stay focused on Him, while enjoying this wonderful Christmas season. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.