Lately I’ve been thinking about the concept of “focus.”
In my job, I’ve largely come to the conclusion that I’m paid to focus. I have skills that I’ve learned over time, sure. But at the end of the day most of those skills can be taught to someone else. Really I’m paid to make sure that someone pays attention to the particular part of my company that I’ve been assigned to watch.
In your job, I’m sure you’re paid to focus as well. You might have a different kind of focus than my job requires, a different emphasis or skill set, but I’m guessing your job wants you to stay focused on whatever it is you’re put in charge of. Because of the different pressures on the economy, anything that can be automated will. That leaves focus (and creativity, which requires a particular kind of focus) as one of the main assets we have in the workforce.
But focus isn’t just a topic to discuss in business or economics. The battle for our focus is happening all around us. If you think about it, in the West we have less menial tasks than ever before. You would think that would mean we have more ability to focus on things that are important. But with a decrease of of menial tasks brought on by technology, we actually have an increase of new things competing for our attention. There are countless blogs, podcasts, radio stations- the list goes on. It’s counter-intuitive, but the progress that in theory has given us more time to focus has also given us more to focus on.
Nowhere is this more true than our walks with the Lord. More than ever, technology that makes our lives easier (and I’m mainly talking about our smart phones here) also distracts us more from spending time with Jesus. It’s now easier than ever to be reading your Bible (Youversion, anyone?) and flip over to Facebook real quick to see how many likes you’re getting.
This is dangerous because we become what we focus on. The Apostle John tells us when Jesus appears we will become like Him because we will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). Jesus tells us the pure in heart (those that focus on purity) will see God (Matthew 5:8). David tells us in the Psalms that the one who looks to God as a deliverer becomes radiant (Psalm 34:5). I could go on. You become like what you are giving attention to.
That said, are you becoming more and more like our culture? Or are you becoming radiant like God is?
The difference, my friends, might be in what you’re focusing on.
Maybe it’s time for a new focus.
* I did crop a few things. 😉