Happy New Year!
It’s a new year. A new start. Much like a clean slate and here we go again. We’ve been here before and yet the homestretch felt different this year.
I am not quite sure exactly when I knew what my one word would be for 2018. The word kept coming to mind throughout a difficult fall season, at first seeming like the word for the season. But as the weeks of Advent pressed on, I realized it was to be the One Word for 2018.
Focus, as defined from several different dictionaries, means “the center of activity or attention; emphasis; direction”. Interestingly enough, the Latin word for focus meant “fireplace or hearth” and how we came to think of a fireplace as the focal point of a room.
In 2018, my desire is to stay focused on what God would have me to do with each day. He is to be the center of my activity, the driving force in my life.
“… but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13b-14, NLT)
This verse is a familiar one and yet has fallen on me with a freshness I cannot explain. The imagery Paul uses brings two thoughts to mind:
- What is done is done. If we get stuck in all that has transpired in the past, we will get stuck in the past. We will stagnate and never achieve all God has for us in the future. He intends for each day to be lived to its fullest, in spite of what has already taken place.
- Keep on going. Paul used athletes as a metaphor. He conjures up the image of athletes in training. They must strain, remain undistracted, and be completely dedicated to their game or race.
It is in remembering the end goal, I will find motivation to run my race and run it well. Focus will prevent me from slacking off. Focus – proper focus – will be the driving force towards living my days to the fullest for His glory, not mine. In writing about Paul, one commentary states:
“The joy of the process kept him [Paul] going, but he realized that the ultimate joy was the completion of God’s work in his life.”
(Richard R, Melick, Jr.; The New American Commentary, Vol. 32, page 139)
So here’s to developing a deeper focus this year.
I want to forget the past and
look forward to what lies ahead.
Press on and FOCUS!