When are you at your best? When are you the most focused on the task at hand? How do you respond in less than perfect situations?
This past weekend I played in a golf tournament on Sunday. Saturday it was a beautiful day (70+ degrees and sunny with no wind). Sunday…not so much. It was misting rain, it was cold and worst of all, the wind was blowing at about 15-20 mph. Now i don’t know how much you may know about golf, but those conditions are not very easy to play in. I was having a rough go at it already, and then the conditions continued to get worse. When I got done I was explaining my round to someone in the clubhouse and he pointed out that the best holes I played all day (the last 6) were in the hardest conditions. To my surprise he was right, somehow I had managed to survive the hardest conditions and play well on those holes to finish.
If you aren’t a golfer, let me give you a different example. Imagine its nice and sunny outside and you are driving on the road with no traffic at all in your home town. You probably aren’t extremely focused, as its pretty easy to drive in that. Now imagine its pouring down rain on the interstate somewhere you are unfamiliar with and there is bumper to bumper traffic for miles. Now how focused are you? If you are like me you are intently focused on the road ahead of you, including the cars around you, and have both hands on the steering wheel and are sitting up straight.
In each example, you are doing the same task, but the conditions around you are causing you to focus much more. When the conditions are the worst, you find a way to combat them and fight through.
Bringing it Back to Jesus
How much more should we be focused on the task ahead of us with our relationship with Jesus? We are in a battle, whether you realize it or not, this world is doing everything it can to have us not shine brightly for the cause of Jesus Christ. The negative tones you hear on the news to the violence and murder occurring both here and overseas. We need to focus and keep Jesus in mind so this world doesn’t consume us with negativity and destruction.
So what does that look like? Its simple really. You need to recognize that every day is a battle and not to take anything for granted. You should wake up each morning and give it all the focus you have, just as if it was pouring rain all around you. Find a way to carry Jesus with you every day (prayer, Bible reading, memorizing a verse, etc.). When things get the hardest you need to have something (Someone) you can focus on. Think of the lines on the road when it is pouring rain, you focus on those when you can see nothing else because you know you are safe inside those lines. Even if its a token you have to remind you of Jesus throughout the day, just needs to be something that is constant and not moving. For me its a bible on my desk at work, a picture in my dashboard of my car, and multiple things at my house.
- Colossians 3:2 – “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
- Proverbs 4:25 – “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”
- Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
So find the things that help you focus on Jesus throughout the everyday battle that we are in. He will guide us though as long as we keep our eyes on Him and focus, don’t get lazy. We can be at our best (with God) when conditions are at their worst.