I remember sitting upon lots of church benches as a child and loving--really loving--listening to missionaries when they came to town. Oh my, their stories! All those adventures and all those heathens coming to know Jesus. Wow. I'd return to school the next day still with those stories swirling inside my head and wishing I, too, could be a kind of missionary there amongst my classmates as, usually, the missionaries encouraged us to be.
Not until whole decades later did I recognize why I so enjoyed the missionaries. It's because they were focused. They knew what God meant for them to do, they gave their lives to it (not just talking about doing it someday), and now they spilled over with the joy and peace of obedience to their calling. Of obedience to the way God designed them.
And you know? It's the focused folks I've admired best all these decades since. Instead of being scattered inside their heads, rather distracted, interested in one area today and another tomorrow, a little passionate here, a little passionate there, but mostly confused and clueless as to why they're on this planet--instead of being vanilla-average--they focus upon what God designed them to do.
And down through the years these are some of the focused people who have inspired me to stay far away from Distractionville and oh-hum-average:
Joyce Meyer, A.W. Tozer
Keith Green, Smith Wigglesworth
Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and various other comedians
School teachers to whom teaching is way more than a paycheck
Many different actors. Many.
Kimberly McCole (from Daisy Cottage) and other decorators
Bear Grylls (from Man vs. Wild) and other survival experts
Julia Child, Rachael Ray and other chefs
Women and men who keep coupon blogs, helping us save money
And various surgeons, bus drivers, farmers, pilots and others
Coroners and morticians (try doing those two jobs without being specially-gifted--ack!)
Those are just off the top of my head, from my own Life experience, so yes, it's a limited list. But for me? It's a reminder list so I'll not just spend these few precious, meaningful-for-all-eternity years sitting around complaining about what's wrong and wishing whole days or weeks away. Or being a little over here, a little over there, a tester of shore waters instead of a brave swimmer.
No, I desire more focus upon what God's given me to do here, more refinement of those skills and talents, more obedience to what He asks of me and more love in all the doing and daily living. For then, at the end of my days, I'll have truly lived and there'll be no regrets, but only smiles spilling over from cups of joy--and very little embarrassment over fears obeyed and time wasted when I step into Heaven... because I spent much time, focused.
And of course you know, I'm not talking obsession here. No, there's a difference between obsession and focus, focus being more balanced. And if you've read here very long, you know I do love balance!
"He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.
[Let your] love be sincere (a real thing)... Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord." ... from Romans 12