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focus

I’m fighting like crazy here to keep from expounding on the gospel story of Peter jumping out of the boat.  We’ve heard lots and lots about it, it’s all familiar and generally helpful, but from time to time we  fall victim to the loss of focus.  I read that story and I want to start screaming at the top of my lungs:  “FOCUS dude, you are in the middle of a flipp’n miracle!”

You’d never know it by looking at my physique but I started messing around with weights in the year 2000.  I had survived Y2K, the world did not end, nor did I need the 300  cans of tuna fish in the crawl space under the house any longer and thought I’d celebrate our birth into the 21st century.  I had read in a health magazine for men that if I didn’t start building some muscle quickly I was gonna be a saggy-armed, flat-chested wimp for the rest of my life.  I was 43 at the time, so I started to dabble a little.  Just enough to tone.   I’ve always been a runner, so it was a weird dynamic for me to be in a weight room.   It had been High School since I had messed with weights. There were too many mirrors.  People flexing and primping for themselves and all innocent bystanders.  I was just trying to keep from looking like Professor Clump.   The mirrors are still a a bit much for me, but I  recently realized how much I depend on those mirrors to monitor my form while lifting.  Maybe not so much the form as just something to focus on as I count out the reps while The Black Crows or Led Zepplin is thumping in my ears.

Since moving back to Colorado, we joined a health club less than a block from the townhouse .  It’s convenient and cheap (under $10 a month).  There are no frills or luxuries.   Just cardio and weight machines.  There isn’t cucumber water or fresh towels for the members.  Nothing in there but a few T.V.s  and lots of body odor.  Because it’s so inexpensive, people are like ants in that club.  No matter what time of day, someone is always wanting to work into your reps or waiting for you to get off the machine you’re working with.  It wears me out, but that’s another subject.  Inevitably, due to the number of people who are moving around in the club, someone is going to stand in your line-of-sight if you’re working near a mirror.  Maybe I’m the only person on this planet that suffers with this dilemma, but if I’m counting out reps under strain and someone moves in to block my view, it totally interrupts my focus and strength immediately leaves me in that moment.  I’m sure the problem is all between my ears, but the loss of focus for even a second brings the exercise to immediate closure.  It’s really weird, but it happens all the time.

So, you make the application.  Lost your strength?  Lost your rhythm?  Lost your will for discipline around your mind, your body, your physical health or spiritual life?  Don’t allow anyone or anything to break your concentrated efforts to move toward your goals and the abundant life.  You’ll have to fight through to maintain your intensity at times because there is always going to be traffic in the intersection.  People get set in their patterns and without realizing it you’ll set your cadence to theirs.  That’s all good if it is a team function and the leader is strong,  but if you are flying solo and the plan is to stretch and bring discipline to your own life, you’ll have to set the pace with  serious determination.  Of course, solid accountability is great!  It should remind you of the priorities you have already declared and bring lots of encouragement.

Peter later brought lots of solid teaching about focus.  He had been to the school  of trial and error.  “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” This word is spiritual but  it also applies for the everyday grind.   Have the courage to make honest assessments, make the adjustments, make the changes and then dive in.  It takes discipline to develop the strength to swim against the world’s current and the appetites of our flesh.  Any ole dead thing can float down stream.

FOCUS!

-MDP-

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 4, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Awesome write up. Needed that. Thanks Mike. Scott Molgard is a great friend. I am sending him this. Love ya, peace.

  2. annie
    August 4, 2010 at 8:20 am

    i think this was partially written for me….. i love how God gives the exact words you need at the exact time you need it. i love you

  3. Jess McVey
    August 4, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I love you and continue to appreciate the wisdom that you and Patti speak into my life each and every day! Thanks for sharing your heart! Miss you already 🙂

  4. August 4, 2010 at 9:57 am

    That does it. You’ve inspired me. Thanks man!

  5. Clark Morman
    August 4, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Mike, I knew you back in the 1976 when you looked like a tight end for the Dallas Cowbys! I’m glad you took up running, you always wanted to look like one of John McDonnell’s Running Razorbacks!

    I am thankful that for many years you have not lost your focus and you have fought hard for to encourage others to keep our eyes focused on the Author of our faith!

    Come see us! You owe us a vist you chicken plucker!!

    I love you brother!

  6. Shawn
    August 5, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Needed! Thanks!

  7. Mike Murphy
    August 5, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Good word!

  8. Pearl Great-Daniels
    July 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Even after two years this article is still relevant and a blessing the good Lord bless your ministry richly.

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