SCRIPTURE: James 1:15-16 (TM)
Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer. So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course.
STORY as shared by Dale Turner:
John W. Gardner, founding chairman of Common Cause, said it's a rare and high privilege to help people understand the difference they can make -- not only in their own lives, but also in the lives of others, simply by giving of themselves.
Gardner tells of a cheerful old man who asked the same question of just about every new acquaintance he fell into conversation with: "What have you done that you believe in and you are proud of?"
He never asked conventional questions such as "What do you do for a living?" It was always, "What have you done that you believe in and are proud of?"
It was an unsettling question for people who had built their self-esteem on their wealth or their family name or their exalted job title.
Not that the old man was a fierce interrogator. He was delighted by a woman who answered, "I'm doing a good job raising three children;" and by a cabinetmaker who said, "I believe in good workmanship and practice it;" and by a woman who said, "I started a bookstore and it's the best bookstore for miles around."
"I don't really care how they answer," said the old man. "I just want to put the thought into their minds.
"They should live their lives in such a way that they can have a good answer. Not a good answer for me, but for themselves. That's what' s important."
Not getting thrown off course is hard. There is so much petty stuff that is thrown at us that is becomes too hard to keep focused on what we are meant to do in this life. The old man’s question is a good one to keep us moving forward with a God given purpose.
Let’s face it there is a high demand for our attention. We are literally bombarded on a regularly basis. Our attention span moves quickly from one area to the next. Everything has the appearance of being important. “Look at me,” “Hey, over here,” “Pay attention to me,” “I’m the most important,” etc. Sometimes I feel that I am the pull-toy in some cosmic tug-of-war. The 24/7 news cycle doesn’t help. The level of trust or lack there of in our national leadership doesn’t help either.
We need to remember, don’t we, that achieve anything for the Kingdom we have to focus in on what the King wants. It’s so basic that it gets lost in the clutter. As an old shoe repairman shared once: “God gave me the ability and the keen interest to repair shoes. Therefore, I’ve dedicated my life to becoming the best shoe repairman in the world (and he was) while giving God the glory all the time.” No one left his shop without hearing the Gospel.
In the church we hear often that “you are not this” or “you are not that” or “I don’t like this” or “I don’t like that” … just little stuff that can throw us off our game and knock off course. And that is true in our family life as well. The introduction of doubt or a bit of criticism can begin to eat away at the foundation.
Recently I’ve found myself repeating again and again: Keep the focus! It is hard, especially when we desire to be the best … to be all the God has called us to be. "What have you done that you believe in and you are proud of?" is a good place to start in keeping the focus on the Kingdom and the King!
We really want to keep the focus, but we hate disappointing others. We want to keep the focus, but there is just too much that demands our attention. We cannot find the delete button in our mind. It weighs us down. We cannot stay on course without your help. Focus, focus, focus … what a challenge.