Few people oppose me when I assert that we should focus our greatest efforts on that which is most important.
Fewer people have tried to measure what we mean by “focus.” It seems too elusive.
To quote Rob Lowe’s character in the TV comedy, The Grinder: “But what if we could?”
I think the power of focus is directly linked to our common — but limited — capacities. Consider this trilogy of natural limitations: 1) the thoughts we invest in the object of focus, 2) the time we spend acting on this focus, and 3) the degree to which our closest friends (usually around 15 people) lend support rather than opposition to our focus. We can only think about one thing at a time, live one minute at a time, and invest in a limited number of relationships at a time.
When these three converge to serve the same pursuit we can expect our focus to intensify. Soft lighting might work well to set a romantic mood, but we’d all agree the diffused light is hardly dangerous. On the other hand, concentrated light is a force to be reckoned with when it becomes a laser.
The genius and power of Jesus is how he can transform our focus when we give him unlimited access to our minds, our schedules and our relationships. He often warned about the dangers that compete for our heart’s devotion.
Today a constant barrage flows from our techno-hyped culture into a soul-threatening posture within. It might be harder to give Jesus our undivided attention than at any other time in history.
“But Jesus…” Two words. Inextinguishable hope. Jesus knifes through noise, pain and suffering to focus on what matters most — what lasts forever. And he will carry us with him.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)