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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: Focus
By Les Ey
07/27/08


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Focus

Garry was on his knees in the study, Sam, the last of the people who attended the Bible study meeting had just left and Garry was feeling tense and needed to get something off his chest.
Tonight's topic was supposed to be on "Correct priorities", it ended up being about "How hard it is for Brian to talk about Jesus to his drug background friends."
Garry slowly massaged his temples and then the back of his neck before he started.
"Father, thanks for the privilege of leading the group, I lift up the group before You, and ask You to minister to each one of them, especially Brian. Lord, I've tried to speak gently with Brian about keeping to the topic of the discussion but he is completely unable to concentrate. I did my best to guide the discussion without being too harsh but my best was not good enough tonight."
"God I can't change Brian, only You can. Teach him to focus on the topic of the discussion."
There was that word "focus" again, the word had brought one of the moments of the meeting back to Garry, a moment where everyone had ganged up on Brian. It had become a common occurrence for Garry to interrupt Brian, almost yelling the word "focus" and tonight all Garry had to do was begin to say "Brain, focus!" and before Garry had finished, three or four people had joined in to say "focus" in unison. At least Brian had a smile on his face at the time; Garry hoped Brian wasn't just masking some inner hurt feelings.
Garry sighed, "Father, please don't let Brian become discouraged over the issue, he's a little rough around the edges but we all love him and he has a real servant's heart. He always helps to set things up at church and he gives half of the study group a lift to the meeting but he can be so disruptive."
"Father, I know the topic that I prepared was the right topic and I did my best to present it, so please help us to learn about correct priorities in spite of the way that things went tonight."
"Father, why can't the meeting go according to plan? How are we supposed to learn if Brian keeps on interrupting?"
Garry paused to listen for a moment. Suddenly a thought came to Garry and he could see it so clearly now, ministering to people is one of the most important priorities that you can have.
Garry suddenly realized that he needed to learn something about concentration himself. "Father, teach me to concentrate on Your priorities. Please give me wisdom to lead the meeting and help us to make Brian feel loved and accepted and help us to learn from Brian's passion for talking about Jesus. I ask this in Jesus name, amen."
Rising from his knees, Garry suddenly felt a peace, he knew it would not always be easy and that he still needed to at least try and keep the group on topic but people had priority over the program and God was still in control.


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Sunny Loomis 08/02/08
Good story. Sometimes we need to listen more, and at times people take longer to grow in the Lord. We need to be aware of God's priorities.