Posts Tagged focus
Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt that you were called to something bigger than yourself, but everyone else around you thought that you were insane, irrational, or an ignoramus? What I’ve learned over the past few months takes me back to a quote I heard once:
God doesn’t call the equipped,
He equips the called.
So even if you’re going through life and are content just doing what you’ve always been doing, when God calls, you will be equipped for what he has called you to do. Prepare for spiritual boot-camp, because He will get you ready. But will you be willing?
I was reading my Bible on my way back from a family reunion and a few things *hit* me like a hammer hits a finger: painful, swift, and powerfully on target. (Most of you know what I’m talking about…those hammers never miss the finger!)
1. In the book of Matthew, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he summoned two brothers Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were working as fisherman. That was their livelihood…their pay-check. They did not waste time thinking: “Well, how will I pay the electricity? The cable? Provide for my family?” Instead of questioning, they responded to their call immediately. (Matthew 4:18-20)
And what they received instead of a routine pay check was so much more. They traded their pay-checks for a passion.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
So, what’s so awesome about the passion of a calling?
But the first thing to jump out at me in response to that question is:
Becoming passionate and living a life around Christ is founded on a love that cannot be put into words. Because Love in any relationship is not founded on words alone. LOVE must accompany ACTION.
I have to say that again.
Love MUST accompany action. Action behind it is what DEFINES it!
It’s easy to say we love someone. But if our actions behind that word won’t support it, it falls flat. Love becomes just a meaningless word. If you truly care, you have joyful action to support the love you proclaim.
Think about this for a minute: How much could our marriages and relationships improve if we LOVED in ACTION! We’d be helping, encouraging, pampering, and listening by focusing on the other person and HOW we could love them instead of focusing on what we should be getting out of it. We tend to self love. Jesus was about loving others!
So, we say we can love. But, can we continue to follow and love even when the loving gets rough? How will we know if we can do it or not? The answer is simple: Just do it. Until you do, you will never know how much you love until the circumstances become challenging. I know first hand!
When the less than ideal circumstances arose, I learned that there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to live out my faith and calling. And I also had to learn that I had to be careful not to fall into anything that would take my focus off that same calling when the difficult tests began!
I learned that by following Christ I could lose it all. And in the same aspect, losing it was the only way I could keep it all. Yes, I would lose things in this world. I would lose certain comforts, certain relationships, certain expectations people had for me. But, I was keeping the only thing that mattered after all the clutter was removed. I was getting to keep my love and passion for Christ, and He became my all. Because essentially, nothing else matters if I don’t have my passion. Take the every thing, but don’t touch my passion. And I mean that. Where God guides, he also provides. This is a true test of obedience, faith, and trust.
When you are called from the business world and into the field of ministry regardless of the circumstances, stay laser focused on your mission and answer the call. Risk it all. Because after all, even if everything was taken away from you, you’d still find you have it all without regret.
You cannot regret loving God. And sometimes you don’t know that until you have to risk it all. The risk helped me to define the depth of love I have for Him.
Oh, and if you’re worried about screwing up, don’t worry. I can tell you first hand that you will make some mistakes. But, if you stay plugged in to the mission that Christ has set before you, you will only grow deeper in your relationship with Him as you work through it.
Enjoy song and lyrics 😉
Yesterday, I woke up bright and early. And again today, I woke up earlier than normal. In fact, today I woke up just in time to see the clock change from 6:59 to 7:00am. Had I woken up and looked at it one second later, I would’ve missed it. That’s how I know precisely what time I opened my eyes. Instantly I sat up, and began to think about the day ahead of me. I checked my email, glanced at my web stats and sales reports, and stopped.
I needed to wake up and prepare for a meeting. I grabbed my morning Pepsi, my Bible, and headed out to my deck. I read and reflected. And after a period of time, I closed my Bible, closed my eyes, and laid out all of my thoughts to God. And then I got quiet. I just meditated, with my eyes closed, and took turns thinking, and then listening to the quiet sounds around me.
I had a meeting with God. It was just me taking time to sit and listen. Yes, I could hear the busy birds chirping happily in my Maple tree and the sound of the winds rustling through the leaves, but it was just the sound of Nature and the things that God created that I was hearing. I’d think, stop and listen. And think a little more, listen for a longer period of time, pray, and listen. And then it was eventually just a stillness in my head where I found myself lost in my listening.
What I noticed more than anything was that I became completely focused on Christ in that time. I focused on what is important to me-my priority which is living for Him, becoming more like Him, and being used in this life for His purpose. I feel balanced. I feel prepared. I feel confident and hopeful as I start today. It’is what will help me stay focused as I encounter thousands of distractions, temptations, and otherwise unimportant things that will approach me at any given time during my day. I must stay laser focused to achieve the mission God has placed before me. To do so requires balance and focus.
Life balance is not some gimmick. It’s a real way to live your life and completely focus on what your priorities are. And, since mine is living a Christ-centered life, I am designing more and more of my work to reflect that. It seems that with every meeting, I am getting further and further away from just the regular business models. I am working more and more for the Kingdom of God. I am balanced with my priorities, and how I live and spend my time is a direct reflection of my focus through my balance.
Oh, I will continue to teach and present in the business world…I am not leaving. I was thinking after my meeting with God this morning that more and more of my writing is directly related to balancing and the Kingdom of God. That is where my focus is. That is my priority. That is my PASSION. And my life balancing and life management is keeping me there. Truthfully, those are gifts from God, and I am using them for His glory, and I am so honored and humbled.
I am so happy that God reminded me in our meeting of the importance of what I teach in my workshops. And the best part? Teaching in and for the House of God. Very humbling.
Great meeting 😉
A little over a year ago, I started this Seasoned With Salt blog. All this time later, it has turned into a full blown coaching business. The very first blog entry I wrote was about when God calls, we need to LISTEN and move into action immediately.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that when you receive the calling from Him that everything will fall into place right away. After all, I have been plugging away at this for a little over a year in preparation! As a single mother, it has meant a lot of late nights and weekends. And fortunately, my kids are flexible and spontaneous like I am, so we’ve had some creative and fun family time right in the midst of all this change.
One year ago, I received a calling from God to live my passion, reach his people, and do it all for His glory. One year ago, I moved into action in preparation, made plans, prayed, refined those plans, actively prayed and listened for his guidance, cried my eyes out at times in frustration (technical issues, okay?!), and kept moving forward one step, and one instruction at a time.
Today, I can’t tell you what my future looks like, because I find myself living by faith and not by sight. I don’t know what a year from now looks like. I have an idea, but until I work through this next year, plan my steps, seek God’s guidance and will, and continue to live by faith, I will have no real idea. I can imagine, but I’ve found that what I imagine and what God has planned are two totally different things. Usually, I imagine and dream too small. God always surpasses what I envision. Isn’t that awesome?! (I tend to think of things in my small mindedness of what is possible, and sometimes I forget to think of things in God’s awesomeness where EVERYTHING is possible and unlimited!)
Yes, this past year has been so much preparation and planning. It has been the time period in which I have been called, trained, and equipped. One of my favorite quotes is, “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.” That is so true! He has provided me with everything I need this past year, and now the time has come.
In three days, I report for duty to live His calling and become completely focused on that. I am not just a coach because it’s a job. I am a coach of this magnitude and passion, because I have been called. And, now it is with honor that I look forward to reporting to duty.
I can’t wait to wake up each day and know that I am called to serve the Lord by reaching his people to discover the potential he has given each of them. How can I contain such excitement for this mission!? I am so absolutely excited to have the opportunity each day to focus my life on Him. I know that without a doubt that in doing so, He will continue to guide me from here forward. I think I am too excited and happy to be scared. And, speaking of scared? I’m not. I am peaceful and smiling, joyous to the core. Yes God, I am reporting for full-time duty.
Three days left…and I want to punch in early 😉
I went to a fast food restaurant this evening with my three kids. It had been a very long day, I had a headache, and I was starving. We waited quite a while before anyone even approached the counter to take our order. Of the two employees in the restaurant, only one of them was working. The other lolligagged around and didn’t offer to pick up the slack. We finally got our drink cups and realized we’d only received three cups. As I checked the receipt, I’d realized that they had missed one of the drinks. I was trying to remain patient, so I pulled some more cash out of my purse to purchase the missed drink. Unfortunately, no one was willing to come up and take the order for that either.
When our food was finally handed over to us on the tray, I realized that my entire dinner was missing in addition to the missing drink. The employee who didn’t seem the least bit interested in working offered to make it right and ring up the missing items for me. By this time, I was so frustrated that I no longer wanted any of the missing items. My son took my drink, and I chose to eat nothing. My reasoning for that was based on “the principle” of the whole scenario. Okay, okay, so I am just a little stubborn. But, only a little (cough, cough, shhhh!).
Now that I sit with my tummy rumbling from lack of food today, and the headache I had earlier still pounding from not eating, I have a different perspective. Today I learned a valuable lesson on expectations. Before I even entered the restaurant, I had a self-defined set of expectations. I had needs that I wanted filled, and I had my own version of how this would take place. BUT, (and here’s what I learned today), since I had preset my expectations to meet what I felt was important and didn’t get them exactly that way, I refused to accept anything less than what I wanted. I wanted it how I wanted it, when I wanted it, and how I wanted it. Since it didn’t meet the criteria I wanted, I refused it altogether.
So, here’s where I applied this little lesson. I knew it meant something, but I didn’t know what. I have had other expectations in my life, in which many of my needs and wants have been neglected. Some of these life areas have not happened the way I determined they would. And, I can be honest and say that I’ve had some expectations lately that I felt were important to me that have seemed to have gone by the wayside. What is important to me is not necessarily important to another. But, does that mean that I should turn and walk away from it? Should I refuse it altogether? Is it more of a process of give and take to make sure that everyone involved has some of their expectations met to keep them happy? And, if I love someone, shouldn’t it be more important to me that their expectations are met than my own by giving more than receiving? Tonight’s dinner mishap has certainly got me asking some in-depth questions that I plan on answering for myself.
The most important part of this whole scenario occurred when I asked myself what my expectations are when I expect something of God. What if I had asked God for something in my prayers? What would I be expecting? And, would my expectations be worldly and me focused?
I’m sure they would be the more I think about this. It is so natural for us to build our own outcomes and base our personal expectations on them. But, I believe we could easily change our “me” focused expectations by asking what God’s expectations are of us, and to seek His guidance. I am sure we wouldn’t be quite as stubborn, and we wouldn’t refuse what He provides us with even when they are not quite what we expected to receive. Even in times when we don’t get exactly what we desire, need, or request from someone, there may be a life lesson in that. And, that could be exactly what He expected us to learn.
When have you had a pre-defined set of expectations? Was there disappointment or did it turn out better than you expected? Now that this has you thinking, what do you think of your general expectations regarding your life, your relationships, and your spirituality?