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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Staying focused

At some point I came to realize that all of us have ADD (attention deficit disorder), and there are a few people who learn to overcome it. Those people who can singularly put their mind and efforts onto one issue or into one train of thought and follow it to the end are the ones who are special...the rest of us probably need the drugs!

What makes this interesting for me is that religious leaders often have this singular focus. In my conversations with religious leaders, those with the most creative, energetic, and Spiritual ministries often have that single focus. And, since I don't meet many of these types of leaders, I'm going to guess that the rest of us lack that focus at some level...

Maybe we are in positions that do no let us focus on one thing, or calls to ministry that are about spreading ourselves into many areas a little bit, rather than one area a lot. Other pastors, for example, often say they wish they could have my job, writing and thinking and talking about Christianity, Jesus, the mission of God, congregations, and how to discern the Holy Spirit in community...they think it sounds fun compared to their jobs of meetings, and visits, and the regular parish schedule that does not allow time for the stuff I do. Of course, I tell them I envy them--they are not under pressure to stay focused on one thing and one thing only--and I am not sure God made me to have such focus. (I will leave out the obvious fact that it is true one is never happy with one's lot in life no matter how much focus you have or not.)

I guess I am in search of a Christianity that does not require you to stay focused on God all the time, or even a majority of the time. I am looking for a Christianity that allows me to be in relationship with God that can accept my focus when I get it my life in focus...which, of course, is never. So I wouldn't have much of a relationship with God if I got what I wanted. So I got something else instead...

Because I can't focus on God, God has focused on me. Jesus, as the Son of God, is the laser of God that drills into and illumines me so I can see--every now and then when I can focus--on the love God surrounds me with every day. A love from friends who send a text or Facebook message--one even called me on the phone (old school) the other day! A love from a great wife, children who tolerate me, and strangers who give the long-haired, sandal-wearing hippie a wry smile in line at the grocery store. The more I try to focus on God the fuzzier my relationship with God gets, but the more I let God focus on me? Well, that's when I see best. Strange.

May your table be full, and your conversations be blessed.

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