Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Focus Training

Since, then, ours is so high a destiny, we must -- we MUST pay fuller attention than ever to the truths that we have already heard, and never drift anchorless away from them (Hebrew 2:1, A. S. Way)

Focus is a problem universal to the human race. Every single day while raising my three boys (which is something akin to having a litter of bouncy lab puppies) I would have to help them focus. They would be continually running through the house in their super hero costumes, climbing over the couch cushions of their latest fort or deep into lego world. How I remember their eyes bright and alert, full of the imaginations of their own heads trying to slow down enough to focus in on my face.

“My son” I would say, “Look me in the eye while I’m talking to you.”

“My son, look at me! Now focus. Ok, now what did I just say to you? Please respond by saying ‘Yes Mom’. No, no, look at me when you say it . . . wait, stop don’t run off I’m not done speaking to you!”

It was a continual daily, sometimes hour by hour interaction. Even getting dressed was a chore. One bedroom was a particular challenge in that one of my sons could see himself in the mirror from almost anywhere in the room (a mirror is the ultimate distraction). Pete and I found the only spot this was not possible and called it “the dressing corner”. Otherwise he’d still be in his p.j.’s to this day.

Now they are older. But still we have rules about focus. No cell phones while driving. The headphones of their iPods only plugged into one ear only while in the house so that they can hear if someone is talking to them. And here is the biggie: No “multi-media-ing” (Which is a term we made up to describe using the computer, X-box, iPod, TV whatever all at the same time). Sheesh! The challenges of modern technology!

You see distraction or learning to focus --- is a universal problem. Listen again to the writer of Hebrews as he pleads with us to focus. He says
. . .we must, we MUST pay fuller attention than ever to the truths that we have already heard and never drift anchorless away from them.

Why? Because our destiny depends on it!

So, now that I have your attention - let me ask you a question: What truths are we supposed to focus on? Will any truth do? Or was there something specific he wants us to focus on?

The whole book of Hebrews is about where you are looking & what you are listening to. Over and over it keeps pointing your eye back to Jesus and the first three verses of the first chapter. If you read the book as a whole you will find the words “consider, look, listen, hear . . . . Its all about the senses. Your senses are the lens by which you perceive and interact with the world around you. They need to be trained, like my lab puppies, with firmness and patience.

“Here, is the lens by which to perceive all reality,” cries the writer of Hebrews, “Don’t loose sight of if or you will begin drifting anchor less, hopeless, driven and tossed by the waves.”

Lets look and listen now to that central truth that he was speaking of: Turn over to Heb. 1:1-3.

By various partial revelations, under various forms of appeal, did God in past ages speak to our fathers in the persons of His prophets. But now, as the age in which we live draws to its close, He has spoken to us in the person of His Son. He has made Him the heir who takes for His inheritance the universe. Nay more, it was through His agency that God created all cosmic systems. He is to God as the rays are which reveal to us all we know of the sun: He is the Image that bodies out for us the essential being of God. It is He who bears on to its goal all God’s universe through the Word which is the conducting medium of God’s power. He achieved the cleansing of the world’s sin, and then sat down on a throne a the right hand of the Majesty Divine in the high heavens (Heb.1:1-3, A.S. Way)

First of all lets focus on the fact that God is still speaking through His Son, Jesus. An accurate translation that reflects the aorist tense of the verb would be: “He began speaking and is still speaking to us through the person of His Son. Let me ask you this. In light of this verse, what is Jesus saying to you?

This week before your Cross Immersion Group take a half hour and interact with the Holy Spirit about Heb. 1:1-3. Take your current day, your worry or challenge of the moment and look at it through this lens. Perhaps you are struggling in your finances, in your body, or in your relationships. What is Jesus saying to you from this throne? First of all you need to focus on the clues already there in the verses. Who is He? Where is He? What has He done? Then ask Him for specifics - How does who is He, where He is, and what He’s done impact your circumstance? What is the reality of your circumstance that goes beyond the surface of what you can see with your natural eyes?

Focus here. Don’t drift away. Herein lies your destiny for today. Herein lies the destiny for your life, your family. Herein is the anchor for your emotions and projections of the future. Here in will be your joy as the bright radiance of His person fills your eyes!