Dawn and I just got back from a vacation in Miami. We’ve been married for 16 years and, for the most part, we’ve spent the bulk of those years focused on the “stuff” that comes with adult life (money, college, careers, kids, ministry, etc.).
This vacation was different.
No to-do lists.
No text messages.
No contact with the outside world.
It was amazing!
It strengthened our relationship in a way that “date night” never could. It seems that the simple act of giving each other our UNDIVIDED ATTENTION for an extended period of time has propelled our relationship into another realm.
What comes after “awesome” and “amazing?”
Whatever it is … that’s where we are.
There’s an intensity to our love that rivals the most passionate of newlyweds; and there’s a depth to our love that only comes from a lifetime spent together.
Newlyweds can never have that.
What we have is better.
So … I’ve taken some time to decide what this year (2011) is about for me, and I’ve decided it’s about FOCUS.
I think the principle Dawn & I learned in Miami can work in other areas of life.
If we focus on the things that matter most and eliminate the distractions, we can see amazing things happen.
How many of us fall short of our ultimate potential (in marriage, in family, in ministry, in life) because we spend too much time preoccupied with things that don’t really matter that much in the long run?
I’m guilty of pursuing too many “noble distractions.” Good ideas that should be allowed to die, or be delegated to someone else. Things I’m good at, but not great at. Things I like, but I don’t love. Things that matter, but don’t matter much. Things that are urgent, but not important.
Not this year.
This year I’m going to focus on the things that matter most to me.
1. My wife.
I know that all good pastors are supposed to put God in the #1 slot, but I believe God has called me to love my wife on His behalf. The more I love her, the more I love Him. I’m going to focus on being a better husband.
2. My kids.
My parenting role is changing now that Courtney & Kaden are getting older. I want to be a guide for them; I want to offer counsel and encouragement; and I want to see them soar like eagles. I’m going to focus on being a better dad.
I cannot explain how deeply I’ve been impacted by my study of the prophets. The requirements of Micah 6:8 (echoed in various forms throughout the entire Bible) to ACT JUSTLY, LOVE MERCY and WALK HUMBLY have transformed my understanding of biblical Christianity. I’m going to focus on applying those principles to my life and ministry.
At the core of my calling is a mandate to teach and preach. I know that I cannot be obedient to the Lord without providing instruction and exhortation to the body of Christ. It’s not about a denomination or a location — it’s about preparing God’s people for the coming of the Lord. I’m going to focus on my calling.
God has given me an ability to move people and organizations from where they are to where they want to be. I don’t write that in arrogance; but in recognition of the responsibility that comes with the gifts that God provides. I’m going to focus on developing strategies that make individuals and organizations more effective in the kingdom of God.
That’s what I’m going to do this year (and for the rest of my life).
Everything else is clutter.
Everything else distracts me from what’s most important.
I may occasionally blog, but I am not a blogger.
I am a husband … a dad … an ambassador of justice, mercy, and faith … a teacher … and a strategist.
What are the things that matter most to YOU?