Tuesday, May 01, 2012


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:

Billy Graham
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
Musicians, writers
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



Roger Crassi said...

You are focused from a split second before your feet hit the floor in the morning. ;-) And your thoughts inspire many. Thank you for using the giftings that the LORD has invested in you.


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

We are so lucky to have so many people in our lives who bring this kind of blessing. It's fun to sit down and try to list all I can think of as you did, Debra.

K.E. said...

I'm afraid you described me to a T:
"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--...vanilla-average..."

Debra said...

Roger-- as always, thank-you for reminding me I'm making a difference. Sometimes I'm not always sure!

Kristi--loved your idea of also making a list of your own!

Kim--aww... I see you as being more focused than that. For one thing, you are an encourager to me and to Fawn and who knows how many other folks?! You seem to always have the right words for us in certain situations--and hey--that's *big*. And I'll tell ya.... I, myself, need posts like these to remind me to not be 'all over the board' in my own life and to give more to te specific gifts God's given me. (The reason I write about the same things over and over is that I need the reminders over and over!) :)

Thanks, Everyone!.... Debra