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Staying Focused

Like many Americans, I’m exhausted.

Not because of anything other than staying up until the wee hours of the morning to watch our fellow Americans compete for Olympic gold during 2012 Summer Games.

In Games that have been filled with upsets and surprises, I was reminded through men’s cycling the importance of staying focused. While cycling is not a sport in which I compete, nor am I an avid fan, I did tune in the first Saturday morning of the Games to watch this 250 km trek through London and the English countryside.

Near the end of the race, which would conclude in front of Buckingham Palace, Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara had the lead. Cancellara, the gold medalist in the same event in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, was favored to win. With 15 km left until he felt this Games’ gold medal around his neck, he turned around to look at the field behind him as he made a sharp right hand turn.

Suddenly, without warning, his bike wobbled, he lost control and crashed into the barriers that were keeping the crowds at bay.

Truly it was heartbreaking.

I groaned for him. Not only because he hit his head on one of the metal posts and had a huge scrape on his right elbow, but also because the gold medal that he was ready to grasp was now out of reach.

To his credit, Cancellara got up and finished the race – albeit in much pain and out of medal contention.

In just a quick second, he lost focus and the result was not what he or anyone expected.

I am reminded that Scripture admonishes us that we are to stay focused on Christ – in life and ministry.

Colossians 3:1-4 says, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

The idea of “setting” in this passage of Scripture means to so intentionally focus on an object that we can’t see anything else. Our object of focus, as Paul notes in this selection of verses, is the things above. As believers, no matter what we are involved in, we are to be focused on Christ and Kingdom things.

However, we often lose focus – either because we look at all of the things around us and our focus becomes lost or we because we set our focus on something other than what really matters.

Where is your focus? Is it on things here on the earth or on the things above? While an earthly gold medal might not be what is at stake, eternal Kingdom matters are.

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