2004-03-17 - Vectoring
Phil 3:13-16 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. (NAS)
At work I can't tell you how many times a day my focus gets shifted. I have six people who work for me and one immediate supervisor and two above him that often throw in their input, sometimes a little too often. A plan can change five minutes after it was supposed to have been fixed in concrete. All of these shifting pieces of the environment makes it a wonder anything in our office is ever completed.
When Paul says he is pressing on it reminds me of the verses that describe Jesus headed for Jerusalem for that final Passover. The text I'm thinking of says his face was set like a flint. Flint is one of the better stones for making arrow heads. If you have every used or seen in person the use of a bow and arrow you should be impressed by the power that can be driven through the point of an arrow. The focus and direction are unmistakable. If it is windy their might be some variation. But even then it must be blowing pretty hard to throw off a skilled archer. The target is penetrated with a resounding impact.
Paul is fixed on a goal. He is riveted on the target of pursuing the excellence of Jesus Christ. Like an arrow in flight his direction is set. This life holds many potential distractions. In our culture the possibilities are immense. When a goal is set and pursued with this kind of focus and energy it is often accomplished. A goal unset is difficult to achieve.
What are your goals? What distractions are vectoring you from your path? If you are having difficulty during your day I suggest the following. Keep a list of your activities and the time spent if you can. At the end of the day, stop and review that list and see where things could have been done better, or did not need to be done at all. I have caught myself doing a number of things at my office that my subordinates should have been doing and would have gladly done. I allowed myself to be redirected instead, which diverted me from the goal.
The spiritual parallel is obvious, but just as hard to keep aligned. Don't spend time in factious arguments with people who are just trying to find a chink in your armor. What if the moon falls into the Pacific Ocean? Who cares!? It will make a very big splash. But it has no bearing at all on your eternal future and that is the focus. If that is the conversation, bring it back to the topic of eternity. Sometimes it's fun to play "What If?". If it is play time, indulge yourself. I am not at all suggesting the all work approach. That is a recipe for burnout and becoming unapproachable. Look for small changes that are achievable goals in themselves. The difference these small changes can make may surprise you. Press on!