Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Intense focus

I just finished reading Muhamed Ali's autobiography. I really enjoyed it, it was weird that I didn't remember just how big of a deal his refusal to be drafted into the army and the resulting ban on his career was. That man, though being a braggart, really stood up time and time again.

But the strange thing that happened when I was reading this, was my missing fighting. Not the fights. But the training for fights. I wouldn't think it was strang to miss the fights themselves, the adenaline rush, the crowds cheering, the intensity of competition. I would understand missing that. But the training? Absolute hell, especially if you are cutting weight as well. I would do round after round of sparring with big guys who were only doing every fourth round. Getting hit, and slammed to the ground. Running sprints. 300 pushups and 500 sit ups everyday. Running stairs. The weight room. I felt like I was going to die for six weeks straight, and then to not be able to eat well on top of it. What is there to miss about that? I hated it.

But as I was thinking about it, I realized...

you have one goal, one focus. All of your energy, passion and drive is intensely focused on one thing. When that thing comes it may be great, it may be average, but it is the journey to that thing that is amazing in its simplicity. At that time it seems that everything else is just a blur, only one thing really comes in focus.

Raquel and the girls must have been very neglected at those times, as well as church and other friends. It is good that I have stopped fighting. But I do miss that intense focus.

And I wonder if we can have that kind of focus in our following Jesus. Ofcourse it would be much different, but can we get so intensly focussed on Jesus that we see him in every face we meet. That it effects all of our lives, what we eat, how we live, the sacrifices we make?

rev

14 comments:

Ant said...

I'd like to think we can. I think it comes down to a similar discipline as to the training you were talking about. The journey isn't always fun or easy, but it counts. The focus makes the journey not only bearable, but absolutely worthwhile.

Ben said...

the other day I cycled past a young football team running drills at practice. It reminded me of coach carter (the movie and the man) and the philosophy on how to win by basically being the fittest. I got to thinking... what if I as a pastor 'coached' my team just like a sports coach-by making them run hard,to become the fittest, push the skills development, sprint training etc. The trouble is that people sign up for football teams, commit to practice & when the coach says RUN, they run. If I was to pastor like that, my whole Church would spend all their time doing push ups and running suicides, just for being late! Then most people would tell Me how I should b coaching, expect me to be fulltime coach but pay me minimum wage, only come 2 game day every 2nd week and STILL expect me to produce a winning team.

FOCUS. Can it be a team sport?

David said...

Ben, the above poster, has an entry on his blog about "Substitionary Atonement" in which he talks of his belief in hell.

Fancy that! A Christian who still believes in hell. I thought there were all sorts of moral problems with a God who dispensed eternal punishment for finite crimes. However, it looks like dear old Ben is lost in a fundamentalist haze. Good on ya, Ben, you simple-minded fellow.

Keith Lowell Jensen said...

I've never trained for physical endurance like you have, but I do know that focus. When I finish a string of shows with the comedy troupe, after months of intense writing, rehearsals, promoting, it always leaves me a little blue to have that period of pure focus end.
Of course Bryna's glad to have me back and I start to catch up at work and on my chores at home, but I do miss it.

The Rev said...

I believe in hell too david, infact I don't know of any Christians that don't. We just disagree on the nature of it. But you have never really been interested in the truth, just smart assed comments. Hope that is working for you.

Keith, it is very much the same.

rev

David said...

Did you know that a scientist once dug a hole so deep that it penetrated hell. He recorded the sounds. You can hear the recording in the article

http://www.av1611.org/hell.html

Warning: this may terrify fundamentalist christians.

Keith Lowell Jensen said...

It's weird, I too think a-lot about where and how to direct the intense focus, but I'm also wary of it. I'm not sure that it's completely healthy even when focused in a good direction. It's like the energy at a peace march. I'm in favor of peace, for sure, but when everyone gets themselves going, gets that drive and raw emotion built up, it starts to feel pretty scary. I know that such energy, once put into motion can be hard to redirect.

Ben said...

wow, thanks for reading my blog David, I'm touched. My hope is that soon you too will be wearing socks with your sandals and using phrases like "gosh darn it!" and "howdily doodily".

Bless you.

David said...

Looks like our Universe has a "George W Bush" style God, with His penchant for gruesome unceasing punishment.

A question for Rev and Ben, why aren't you going full tilt trying to make as many people as possible aware of their horrendous eternal future? Get yourselves on the airwaves, shout it out on street corners, wear a permanent sandwhich board - you haven't any time to lose. And Rev, you seem to leave out this important aspect of human destiny in your little homilies. Are you just trying to be trendy, or you don't want to scare the natives?

The Rev said...

Well David, I haven't really come to that part in Matthew yet, but when I do I will throw in a little blurb about your future being so hot you gotta wear shades...

and a fire retardent suit.

rev

KLJ said...

David,
I thought you said goodbye. I'm disappointed to find that you are not a man of your word.

David said...

Who said it was a final goodbye, you idiot.

Keith Lowell Jensen said...

I like the part where you called me an idiot. That was good.

David said...

Know where I can get a fire retardent suit, KLJ?