Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lent: Focused, Resolute...Yikes

To be focused for 40 days on one thing.

I wonder if I can be focused for 40 minutes...  um, ok, 40 seconds.

Jesus was focused for a lifetime.  And near the end of his earthly life, His focus took on a sniper's aim.  He knew why He was here, and God help anyone or anything that got in the way of His mission of extreme mercy.

As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.  
Luke 9:51

Some translations use that unparalleled word, steadfastly.  The Latin and Ethiopic versions say "He set His face as flint..."

I wonder how many of us are going to get out of the shower today and say "I'm going to go out in the world today and bring every thing within me to those around me to be a help to them.  I'm willing to sacrifice my pride, my time, my money, indeed my very life to help people see the grace of God.  No matter what it costs me."


No one becomes steadfast overnight.  And no one becomes truly spiritually steadfast without the divine work of the Holy Spirit within.  To be focused on the right thing takes a work of grace.  If we try too hard to be virtuous, we will likely turn into Pharisees.  No, the way to become steadfast is to set our face like flint toward Jesus, to look to Him, to follow Him, and to be at the ready to receive everything He freely gives.  Then our focus will be right, without the dangerous companion of pride tagging along.  

Lent is the perfect time to turn around and see where our focus has been wrong. Or where we haven't really been focused at all.

There's a famous quote that says "The unexamined life is not worth living."  I wonder if the unfocused life is?  What I would give to get back the hours wasted on foolish things!  I don't mean there's never a time for fun and frolic!  These are part of a balanced life.  God commands us to have times of joy and feasting and rest.  No, I mean those worthless pursuits of dissipation (the opposite of focus) that rob our very souls.  Thank God for the cross of Christ, a bulwark never failing to pull us off the rails of the runaway train of ruin.

In the never ending noise of our 21st century (a century I am blessed and thankful to live during), the quiet truth of the gospel remains.  Our steadfast Savior took the nails, took the abuse, took on death itself to make us sons of God.  He set His face like flint for ordinary folks like you and I, so we could find our true North.  The Kingdom of God.

Avail yourself this day to his grace. Step out of the noise.  Turn off your phone (now I'm treading on dangerous ground!) Take one little step toward focus.  Look to the One who loves you so.  Get out of the shower, and determine, in the words of the great song (Jimmy Durante style):

"Make someone happy...make just one someone happy.  Then you will be happy too..."

Set out resolutely to your Jerusalem.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


No comments:

Post a Comment