Being focused can be a positive attribute, that causes us to concentrate on a task, a goal, or the key points of a debate to reach a conclusion or logical solution. The ability to focus is of significant importance in using instruments such as lasers, radiology and heat seeking devices. The focused light of a laser can burn a hole through metal and sunrays focused through a lens can start a fire. Athletes recognize that unless they concentrate on executing the drills they practice regularly, instead of how they are feeling about errors in a game, or working through a losing streak, they could slip into a mind-set of defeat. Endurance and patience are products of Christian maturity, as they show trust in an outcome according to God’s perfect plan.
Occasionally, though, being narrowly focused is a detriment. Who wants to engage in conversation with someone who is exclusively absorbed in one subject, particularly if the subject of absorption is themselves? Even the effort to memorize great sections of scripture (while a noble goal) might result in being oblivious to how one is applying its meaning in actual life experiences.
Lent is an appropriate time to concentrate our thoughts on the meaning of Jesus’ laying down his sinless life as a redemption for each one of our sinful lives – the extraordinary gift of grace. Jeff Verry made the point in his Good Friday message that instead of focusing on what to give up as a Lenten sacrifice, or conversely, the extra good deeds to perform, we earnestly should seek to have a deeper relationship with Christ Jesus, the Redeemer. Whether it be through prayer, the study of scripture, worship, or to heed the Lord’s call to service, we should be alert for how the Savior is drawing us to Him. The indescribable, unlimited love of the Father is not like a narrow laser beam, but broadens as it flows from Him, encompassing us all. Focusing on Him will increase our desire to be obedient to His directions, to expand our sensitivity to others, becoming more aware of how we can meet their needs. May the Lenten season be a period of discovering the power and majesty of the person, Jesus the Christ.