“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” He12:2 (NIV 1984).
Focus is motivating. Powerful. It makes transformation possible. I grew up in the construction industry. My father started his company in the early 80s and ran it for decades as the primary breadwinner until its eventual closure several years after his death.
As a rite of passage, each of his children worked for the company. I primarily worked in the office doing clerical work. But we learned to adjust and work where we were needed. One summer, I even drove the company van delivering supplies from the lumberyard to the crew when the office workload was light. From these experiences, I learned that focus is powerful because it changes everything. It determines where you and those you influence will go.
My father met with his secretary regularly to review the company's goals for the year, month, and day. Staff meetings consisted of reviewing bids, contracts, and projects. Crews were assigned, supplies were purchased, and objectives for each job were printed and distributed.
A large whiteboard hung in the office with important information, goals for bids, and the jobs in various states of progress.
(The center brownstone building is in Brooklyn, NY, where the company was run. It was the first home my parents purchased two years after moving to the US. Later, they relocated the family to the suburbs of Long Island & converted everything except the office into apartments)
Dad also kept several personal journals. Some of them contained detailed schedules. Others were for poetry or notes he took at church gatherings, while others had tidbits of information that appeared benign until further inspection. They included an exhaustive list of dates and names of people arriving in America who needed financial assistance. As an immigrant, he understood the difficulties associated with integrating and wanted to ease the challenges of fellow immigrants.
(This photo was taken in England on my parent's wedding day. Both were born in Jamaica but were descendants of Africans, British, Scottish, Irish, and Portuguese Jews)
I later discovered that dad had goals to benefit his family and church and help others. Immigrants often arrived in the US with limited provisions and needed work. My father helped numerous people feed their families and establish themselves before moving on to more lucrative opportunities. I learned from him that we must focus on where we want to go.
Looking back, I realize my parents worked hard to provide us with an incredibly blessed lifestyle. But my father’s decision to include blessing others with what he had access to came with costs. There were times when he paid his staff, but what was left over didn’t come close to covering his bottom line. He didn’t complain. Instead, he pressed on and took extra work on weekends to ensure his family never suffered. Dad’s focus determined his direction and the direction of others.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (NIV 1984).
He often used his business as a ministry by lovingly ministering to his crew and clients. My father was practicing the Godly principle of fixing his eyes on Christ, which is why he accomplished so much by impacting others. It’s also why the Bible spends so much time teaching us to keep our eyes on Jesus. Because our focus determines our direction, and it changes—everything.
Dear Lord, please help me to create goals that will impact others for the kingdom. Help me memorize verses to remind me to keep my eyes on Christ, trusting Him for transformation. Amen Your turn: Do you have suggestions to share to help remind us to take our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances?
Have you ever needed help with focus? If so, how do you plan to change this?