Our focus makes all the difference

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, June 26, 2024

By Les Ferguson Jr.

I have a friend who was already a grown adult when I was a teenager. He and I have now been around this beautiful world for a whole bunch of years. This friend has a lot of credentials and letters in front of and behind his name.

For a long time, he tried to get me to sit still long enough to test for adult ADHD, and I always told him it was a waste of time because we already knew it was true.

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Heaven help us if something needs to be more exciting. I don’t do boring well.

Case in point: If I’m going to sit still for two hours to watch a movie, it needs to be highly engaging. Typically, I’d want it to be an action flick. Maybe a war movie or a spy thriller, something fast-paced and adventurous. Car chases and jets dog fighting are icing on the cake.

Even a Western will do in a pinch. Occasionally, a comedy will do, but not so much.

But movies meant to make me explore my feelings or invoke evocative expressions of meaning and delight are not my thing. However, a well-placed and spectacular explosion can be beautiful and captivating. Action, action, action – all the time, baby!

Books are the same way. I love to read and can spend hours and hours reading a good novel. I’ve had to drag myself away from the latest Greg Iles thriller to get this column written. But if you make me read a book on how to be a better preacher (which I’m all for) or the use of Aramaic in the New Testament (which is a worthy subject), it’s an extreme struggle to stay focused on the words I’m reading.

These days, I keep a thirty-minute hourglass on my desk. When I’m struggling to stay task-focused, it comes in quite handy. I turn it over and make myself stay on track for thirty minutes, then give myself a five—or ten-minute reprieve. When I do that a couple of times, I generally
work through my antsyness (I think I coined a new word there).

Staying focused is a challenge I must ever be aware of. Failure to meet deadlines and mishandled expectations can be problematic.

From a spiritual perspective, focus is just as essential and more so. Losing focus on who I am, and who I belong to, can be problematic and devastating. I’m certainly not alone in this.

From that perspective, the following is necessary: “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a NIV)

May we never lose sight of Jesus!