“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”
Growing up I absolutely loved watching the Kentucky Derby. I would eagerly anticipate the first Saturday in May every year, excited to see the top Thoroughbreds lay it all out there to win the first leg of the Triple Crown. In elementary school, I remember I would often take my not so glamorous pony, Shadow, into the field across from our house and we would spend hours racing up the hill and across the field while I imagined what it would be like to be a jockey on a magnificent Thoroughbred. I actually dreamed of growing up to be a jockey…until I passed the average weight limit in the 7th grade! Clearly God had other plans for me!
If like me, you have ever watched the Kentucky Derby, or any horse race for that matter, perhaps you have noticed how often several of the horses running do so while wearing some form of blinders. Blinders are that small, but important piece of horse tack made to keep the horse’s eyes focused on what is ahead, rather than what is beside or behind.
As I watched the Derby unfold today, I had to wonder how different our lives might look if we ran our own race with a set of blinders so to speak. Not looking to the side or behind, not looking at those who are around us and what they are doing, but rather only on what is ahead and what purpose God is calling us towards. Running with focus is powerful. When we run with focus we reach our end destination. When we fail to focus, we get pulled off course and do not accomplish what we initially set out to. Without focus we risk allowing even good opportunities, that are simply not God’s best, to pull us off course.
Author Laurie Beth Jones made the observations, “No matter what was going on in Jesus’ life, He kept His focus. It never wavered. Whether people were praising Him with palm fronds or whipping Him with cords, His focus remained the same. He came to do the will of the Father, no matter what. Whether He was at a party or a funeral, a meeting or a prayer breakfast, He always stayed true to what He came here to do.”
So let me ask, what is God calling you towards today? If you had to define God’s specific purpose for your life in one sentence, what would it be? If you do not have a ready answer to that question, let me encourage you to spend some time reflecting on and praying over what your specific purpose is. We only get one shot at life, spend it focused on accomplishing God’s specific purpose for you.
Once you have identified your purpose, stay focused and complete it. For anyone who has been pulled off course, know it is never too late to get back in the race and start running towards what is ahead. When you know what God put you on earth to accomplish and commit to doing it, no matter what, you will have more power than you can imagine.
Jesus kept his focus, we should do the same. How will you run your race with focus today?