“So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.” 1 Peter 1:14 (NLT)
I think one of the coolest experiences I ever have is the moment I take a long, country-winding drive on my bike – and I don’t mean my Huffy. But there was something I had to do before I could every enjoy that experience: learn to focus on how to ride one. When I was about 16, I learned how to ride my first motorcycle on a 1992 Yamaha Virago. There were things I needed to understand before driving. How to start the bike, how to choke it, how to check the fuel valves and lines, how to make sure the gearbox was in neutral, etc. (I promise this is not a motorcycle 101 class.)
There were also riding techniques that I needed to understand before riding – how to look where I wanted to go or how to not stare at the ground, so I didn’t go there on accident. I also learned how to position my mirrors to where I could see all angles with a simple glance. All of this came easy to me, though! But the hardest thing to learn, and possibly the most important thing I had to learn was to focus on what I was doing in front of me the WHOLE time.
Anyone who knows me well knows this simple truth: I am not very good at focusing. I am ADHD and working in a Children’s Ministry, this helps me very well, as I am able to function on whole lot of tasks at once. But when it is required of me to focus on one task, I tend to sway away from what is in front of me.
Through my journey of learning how to ride, it was a very hard thing to learn how to focus. All of the techniques I learned had the same purpose: to help me keep my focus on the road. But as I realized how the difference between being focused and being distracted really meant being alive or dead, the magnitude of the consequences really hit me – If I didn’t focus, I wouldn’t reach my destination without an accident.
This is the same way with God. In such a multi-tasking society, it is hard to focus on less than one thing. We can hardly have dinner with someone we care about without looking at our iPhone or smart phone! Take this to a spiritual level: we are followers, scratch that, disciples of Jesus. We have to understand the dire consequences of not focusing on him and his teaching throughout our lives. We need to learn to keep our focus on Him. We need to obey God to keep our focus on Him and keep our lives on course.
We need to focus on God, like King David did. David knew that nothing else in his life was more important than God, and that guided him through many curves in the road of life.
No giant opponent would make King David doubt God’s power. (1 Samuel 17)
No unfair situation would make King David strike out in anger. (1 Samuel 26) No derision or critique would cause David to stop worshiping God. (2 Samuel 6)
David didn’t just think about and worship God once a week. It wasn’t just something he did Sunday morning. His life was an act of worship – he strived to make everything he did glorify God..
God has a destination in mind for your life. But to get there, you need to keep your focus on God and do what He wants you to do. Unswerving obedience to God is the best way to reach your destination and keep your life out of the ditch.