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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, July 8, 2011

Focus

I am thinking about the constant need to focus this morning; the need to concentrate one’s thoughts or intentions on what we really want to accomplish. Without focus, we are likely to wander off somewhere we did not really plan to go, and not get to where we thought we were going.

Why is it so hard to stay focused? In our post-modern world, it may be tempting to respond with comments about information overload, the demands on our time, or all the stresses and pressures people face. To focus, however, is to cut through all that, to sort the email from the junk mail and concentrate on what matters most.

The temptation not to focus has always existed. It is not some new phenomenon of the 21st century. It is somehow in the very DNA of the universe to have many things compete for our attention. That is part of the lesson Italian children’s writer Carlo Collodi conveyed in his story The Adventures of Pinocchio. The little wooden puppet learns that,if you want to be a real boy, you have to concentrate on where you were going (school) and not be distracted by every interesting thing or person that calls to you. As the story unfolds, Collodi tells us that disaster and disappointment lie down that alternate path.

The need to focus is also reflected in religious literature. Siddhartha has to give up all distractions in order to seek the path to enlightenment and find his Buddha nature. At the age of twelve, Jesus travels to Jerusalem with his family to celebrate the feast of the Passover. When his parents return home, he stays behind in the Temple. When his parents find and question him, he says, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49 NKJV) He was already focused.

In the last few years, Community of Christ has also been seeking clarify its focus. We have been seeking to redefine and articulate exactly what our mission is. We have come a long way in that task. We have now reminded ourselves that Christ’s mission is our mission and that the church has no other reason to exist. In response to the question, “What is Christ’s mission?” President Veazey has identified the mission initiatives based on Luke 4:18,19 and expressed that in his sermon, The Mission Matters Most.

Despite all the progress made in our refocused understanding, the temptation to concentrate on other elements remains. It is so easy to be sidetracked from what is important by that which presents itself as merely urgent. It was ever thus.

May you find life a blessing today as you seek to focus on what really matters.

Posted by Carman

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