Thursday, December 13, 2012


Pick up any article on life, sports, business or relationships; listen to talking heads you will inevitably read or hear about the topic of focus. Focus…focus…focus. It’s brought up over and over again. It’s rolling through the media; business and self-help articles are all proclaiming the virtues of focus.

From technology, to self-help, to entertainment, focus is a cornerstone of life that everyone accepts as being critical. Check out these video clips[1] on YouTube that talk about focus. While not agreeing with or necessarily enjoying their language, these clips provide an important sampling of how focus is woven into our culture;

To summarize, focus requires thinking; focus is using our brains.

And when it comes to using our brains in connection with faith, there is a huge disconnect that’s the size of the Grand Canyon. Our culture, friends and the media all define faith as this blind leap into nothingness. Sometimes you might think that having faith is unplugging your brain and leaping over an intellectual cliff. You may have heard this; you may even have said it.

But nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to Jesus. You may be surprised to find out that Jesus and the Bible encourages our focus and thoughtful reflection; he commands us to focus, think and reflect a great deal.

The Bible defines faith[2] with words like;
  • Confidence – like a legal document proving that you own your car or house
  • Assurance – proof based on testing, having seen the results
  • Understand – see with reflection and intelligence

In talking about worry, Jesus directs us to think, focus and use our brains. In contrast to the problems with worry, Jesus says “Consider how the wild flowers grow.[3]” Jesus tells us to look at, think about, chew over, reflect and talk through. And he wants us to do this again and again, spending time as we work it through. He does not tell us to jump off a bridge without a net; he tells us something to think about.

Faith in Jesus, following him and becoming like him requires deep, prolonged and consistent reflection and thinking. After Paul met Jesus in a personal and meaningful way, he went into the Arabian Desert for three years where Jesus personally taught and instructed him. This was no Mr. Spock induced Vulcan Mind Meld or “uploading” programs through The Matrix neck plugs, Neo and Morpheus. No, it is a process that takes time, thinking, rethinking.

I have friends that meet with me for coffee and we talk about life, faith and our questions. They have come to describe this thinking process as a journey, and I can’t think of a better word to describe it. Faith in Jesus is both a one-time event and an ongoing process. We come to Jesus by faith[4] and we walk with Jesus through faith[5].

“A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”…Won’t you start your journey with Jesus?

Blessings – Chet 

Chet Gladkowski speaks and writes on topics that touch on culture, life and faith through GLAD Associates. This article is taken from a chapter in his upcoming book.

[1] These clips contain swearing and may not be appropriate for everyone
[2] Hebrews 11:1-3
[3] Matthew 6:28
[4] Ephesians 2:8
[5] Colossians 2:6

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