The other day, I picked up a book called Simple Church and flipped through its pages. One of the headers caught my eye: Focus – saying no to pretty much everything.
If there’s one thing I used to lack in life, it was focus. I used to have it in eighth grade: I remember having a ton of focus to the point where I was never behind in my schoolwork. Looking back, I distinctly remember saying “no” to a lot of good things in order to say “yes” to finishing school on time. That was the key.
The year after, though, I slipped back into a juggling of sorts, always shifting from one thing to the next without giving 100% effort. It was a disaster.
But now, though? I’m continuing to say “nope” to people and opportunities that might seem great, but I simply don’t have the time nor energy to pursue.
It reminds of the time when a Gentile woman came to Jesus and asked for her daughter’s healing (Matt 15:21-28). Unexpectedly, and initially, Jesus ignores her. Now, it might seem rude of him to do such a thing, especially a loving guy like himself. But I would chalk it up to focus: he was on a mission to pursue his original treasure, the people of Israel. He would give grace to the Gentiles, but it wasn’t the time yet. In the end, though, the woman’s faith moves Jesus’ heart toward compassion, and he ends up healing her daughter anyway. But I think his initial response points toward a committed purpose and focus that I aspire to have. Like him, I want to be attentive to the Holy Spirit and say “yes” when he prompts me to, but otherwise I yearn to remain focused and keep my eyes on the path set before me, pursuing Jesus with all that I am.