A Matter of Focus


                What is the difference between a good and a great chess player? Well, other than natural talent and years of practice, focus or intense concentration is responsible for success. A chess master has only one goal: Play chess; learn more about chess; study every chess move and all its different variations.

                A world class bodybuilder spends hours every day at the gym. A chess master devotes the same amount of time to the game. You can probably say the same about professional athletes, expert musicians and famous actors.

                Single mindedness and intense focus is vital to become great in any enterprise. This focus and dedication is what shapes our talents, gifts and skills into a formidable force on the way to success. Most of us have the talents and the potential to achieve great things, but most of us lack the focus, effort and dedication necessary to attain our goals.

                To put it simply: To win the Prize of success we must pay the Price of suffering.

                The Bible has a thing or two to say about focus:

                You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3)

                But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  (Matthew 6:33)

                “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2)

                 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2)

                Jesus called his disciples and is calling us today, to follow Him. The only way we can do that is if we focus our minds, eyes and hearts on Him. The Christian way is narrow, the trials are difficult and the dangers are real; but our Savior has left his footsteps for us to follow (1 Peter 2:21) and his Word is a “lamp to my (our) feet and a light to my (our) path.” (Psalm 119:105 emphasis added).

                Ours must be a laser focus and devotion. As the laser is one single beam of light pointing into a single direction, we must focus all of our attention upon Jesus. Perhaps we can learn from the apostle Paul in this regard. He learned to focus and to do just one thing:

                “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13, 14).

                The “one” thing we must do is to forget the past, focus on the Lord Jesus and finish the race.

                A. G.

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