You have no doubt heard the phrase, especially during uncertain times, that we should be “focused.” But, how--and focused and on what?
When a person gets an eye examination, there are certain images that are projected that the person tested must identify. It’s not just enough that the person sees the image or sees something. They must specifically identify the image for what it is.
We have heard stories of young men who memorized the eye chart to be able to get into the military. I wonder how many believers have memorized the “right” answers regarding key moral and theological issues, without really being able to specifically identify them.
Focus is not the ability to see. It is the ability to identify. Focus is the hunter whose eye is trained to see prey in the brush.
Today there is a need to do more than memorize the eye chart, so to speak. We must be able to identify the key and precious truths and doctrines that are essential to accurately follow the Lord Jesus. We must not only be familiar with these things; we must be perfectly clear in our understanding.
Ultimately, focus sees the end. It is engaged in obtaining. We need a reminder to that end, which is to stand before the Lord and hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
There is a historical perspective that we need to be aware of. When the Church talks about Heaven and eternity, there has often been an escapism—a disengagement from our present human dilemma and trials, which accompanies a lack of engagement in the world’s woes. This results in a recipe of seclusion rather than infiltration in the world.
I believe that this is not because of the focus on eternity, but the disengagement of how that reality should affect earth right now. (I’m not suggesting that we just think about Heaven. I’m suggesting that we follow the Lord’s prayer, that whatever is done in Heaven will be done on earth.)
The lack of emphasis on eternity in the present Christian culture has helped feed instant gratification, materialism, and narcissism. It is the focus of standing before Him one day that stabilizes our lives during rough times and enables us to be good news soldiers in the war (when we are seemingly being overwhelmed), and that breeds in us a courage to be faithful.
So I encourage you to be focused in the truest sense of the word. Let’s not just memorize the eye chart. Let’s really know what we believe and be able to identify it clearly, even when it’s hidden in the brush. Let’s long to hear the words, “Well done,” while working well now!