One Thing

Do you think that most of us have too many things on the go? Do you ever get the feeling that you’re doing lots of stuff but not doing anything really well? If that’s the case, what is that doing to you? Does it leave you lacking a sense of accomplishment at anything? How did this happen? Is there something you can do about it? I believe there is.

If you’re my age or older you can remember the days before personal computers, high speed internet, cell phones, wireless organizers, cheap long distance phone calls and answering machines. These were all supposed to save us time and make our lives easier. Well guess what? With all of these innovations we now try to do more things in the same amount of time and then wonder why we’re so busy and stressed out. At the end of each day we ask often ourselves what we accomplished of any real importance and struggle to give a satisfying answer. And as a follower of Christ you can feel even more frustrated because deep down you know that God has created you for so much more, especially for God. I believe that you actually do have the potential to make every day a good day, one that adds quality to your life and to those around you.

This whole thing boils down to focus, the discipline of looking at everything you do with the same purpose in mind. And when that focus is on something beyond self-improvement and personal fulfillment to advancing God’s kingdom, you will be amazed how energized and productive you can become.

I’m intrigued by the apostle Paul who never did anything half-hearted. He constantly got the important things done and stayed unencumbered with other things that would have impeded his progress. How did he do that? In a word, focus. Paul was determined that he would commit his life to what God wanted him to do at all times. It was that simple for him. Regardless of the daily tasks and challenging circumstances, he kept his kingdom focus.

Paul’s words in Philippians 3:13b,14 reveal his unceasing discipline in this regard. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Why not apply these words to your life? Remember, it’s about one thing: Living out God’s call daily. Sure, there will always be lots of details to deal with but it’s the focus on the one thing that will give value and purpose to everything you do, whether large or small.

Did the demands and pressures of life every tempt Paul to get side-tracked from staying focused? I’m sure they did, but the record of his life indicates that he kept reminding himself of the one thing that defined everything else he did. In doing so he simplified his life instead of complicating it, something that all of us can benefit from by doing the same.

My hope is that you will take some time to reflect on this insight as it relates to where you are today. Why not summarize the focus for your life in a sentence, describing the one thing that you live for? Put Christ at the centre of it and let everything else be evaluated by it. It’s then that you will have something to give as an answer to your question about what you accomplished by the end of each day.