Focus (unabridged)

How is your focus in life? Fuzzy? Fluctuating? Or fixed? When I was a kid we had a boat. No motor. Just a boat, which we rowed. Good rowing takes practice—that’s what Dad always said while he was fishing—because you sit backwards, and look at where you’ve been, to determine if you’re headed where you’re going.

Rowing is a three-step process: First, you line up your destination and the boat with a fixed point behind you. Second, while keeping your eyes on the point behind you, you pull evenly on both oars. Third, before you take the oars in hand, you establish when it will be your turn to fish and the other person’s turn to row.

Hebrews says, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

This is the same principle as rowing. Our destination is knowing Christ and loving Him. Our reference point, located directly astern of life’s boat, is Christ’s work on the cross. The means of rowing the boat is Christ’s strength in and through us.

When we read the exhortation to fix our eyes on Jesus we are being exhorted to line up our destination, life, and reference point while maintaining our dependency upon Christ.

The goal is not better rowing, a finer boat, or calm water. The goal is knowing Christ (Phil. 3:10) regardless of the state of the craft or the condition of life’s waters.

James 1:17 says our reference point will not change or vary. At the cross, Jesus established our new identity and purchased the privilege of living His life through us. This is unchangeable.

Anytime life does not line up with His accomplishments, life is out of line.

I find myself talking with Jesus more about focus in life than ever before. Perhaps it is the siren of life’s screaming pace and the devil’s insistence in trying to cast his interpretation on that. But in Christ I find a fixed point in a spinning world.

But simply looking at the destination and the reference point are not sufficient.

We must also fix our eyes on the life of Christ expressing Himself through us. Fixing our eyes literally means to look away from one thing (our fleshly resources) and fix our eyes on another (Christ and His sufficiency and strength) with complete trust.