Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: Stay Focused
By Mary McLeary
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“Hurry! We don’t have much time. We have to be there in an hour. Hurry!”
This seemed to be the theme of our lives as we ran from one activity to another. Juggling so many things at once had left us in perpetual motion. Yet as busy as we were, we still needed milk, bread and toilet paper so on our way to the next event we were stopping at the grocery.
As a first grade teacher I was planning ahead all during the day and weary at the end of it. My husband’s job required focus and action. Life was as full as our house since one of our daughters, our son-in-law and three grandkids were living there temporarily. Our time for catching up on the day’s activities was usually in the car.
We were “talking up a storm” (as we say down here) when we realized we had driven right past the store and the interstate exit we were supposed to take. We were making good time, but we were headed in the wrong direction. Our lack of concentration caused us to be late to an important event.
At some point everyone feels overwhelmed and out of focus because there is so much that must be done. This is when confusion and lack of concentration can cause us to wind up some place we don’t really want to be.
There’s a joke I have heard about a guy who stared intently at a frozen can of orange juice. He was so still that his friend began to worry about him.
“Sam,” his friend enquired, “why are you staring at that can of frozen juice?”
“Well,” his friend replied. “It says Concentrate. So that’s what I’m doing.”
Concentration is a mental tool we must utilize or we get sidetracked, and that is easy to do. Anytime I have tried to diet, the tiniest bit of chocolate made me lose my concentration.
In a sporting event it is obvious that there are people who will try to break your concentration and keep you from getting to the goal. Athletes and coaches often work for weeks before each event to prepare for any obstacle the opponent might throw at them. They have to prepare and stay focused or they will lose the game. Maintaining concentration is essential in order to attain the worthy goal of victory.
In 2 Timothy 4, Paul states his goal: I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Keeping the faith and sharing it with others is a Christian’s ultimate goal. Prayer and Bible study will keep our eyes on the prize. As we concentrate on Him, our lives will become richer and others will want what we have. What we have is awesome!
What we have is the hope of glory. What we have is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. What we have is the power of the Spirit to sustain and guide us.
Now that is something to focus on – so CONCENTRATE!
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