Simply Focus

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One of the keys to running a marathon is focus.  You need to focus on your breathing, your heart, and how your body is feeling.  It’s a simple idea to overcome distractions like pain, having to go to the bathroom, pain and more pain.  It’s one of the reasons I don’t run while listening to music, I need to focus.  I know if I’m going to reach the end I need to wipe away distractions and put my mind on the goal.
Same principle apply in ministry.  You need to focus on your tasks, ideas and vision or you’ll just find yourself frustrated over and over again.  When you don’t focus you find the same problems occur, the same stresses rise up and you start to feel a little bit crazy.
Other than maintaining sanity, we need to focus so that we can:

  • Expand On An Idea: Too many ideas are short lived.  We think of them and if they are out of the box, we have a tendency to cut it off.  If we dwell, discern and dissect and idea we can give it the nurturing it needs to grow into something beautiful.
  • Improve Efficiency: Sometimes we just need to buckle down and get something done.  When we focus on a task, we give it the attention and love it needs to be completed.  Putting too much on our plates, dilutes the focus, creating tangents that lead to nowhere.

So how do we focus?  Is it as simple as repeating the word in our mind over and over again?  Not really, to focus you need to:

  • Remove Noise: I know listening to music might be motivating; however, sometimes we need complete silence to allow an idea to grow.  No outside voices except for your mind and the Holy Spirit.  
  • Strategically Schedule Time: When you give yourself dedicated time for dreaming and brainstorming you make it a priority.  You eliminate the possibility of a meeting, email or simple administrative tasks from derailing your focus.
  • Detox: Taking a break and walking away to do something that will refresh you will always help you focus.  I enjoy a nice long run, some people will take a “Day with God” and others will take a nap.  Sometimes so much has piled up that we just need to take a step back before we dig in and focus.

What do you do to focus?