I’m an extremely driven person with enough dreams and aspirations to span a couple of lifetimes. One of the biggest challenges in dealing with my personality is remembering to focus on the most important things in life. In my case, that means taking time to concentrate on Jesus and make the adjustments necessary in my life to be a consistent follower of His. There is a tendency in our Western culture to be very busy; nobody really cares what you are busy doing, just as long as you are busy. We’ve lost the simplicity of previous generations, and we may be losing our souls in the process.
For me there are three keys to keeping things simple, to maintaining the proper focus and balance in your life as it relates to following Christ:
- Remember what is most important to you. I find that it is invaluable to write down your mission in life. It’s important to make this clear and succinct. For example, my mission statement is “I encourage others to live lives of total devotion to Christ”. It has evolved over time and I still tweak it as necessary. But at the end of the day, the message is the same. When I get consumed chasing one of my dreams, it is helpful to look at my mission statement. Without fail it causes me to slow down and re-center my life.
- Focus on what you should be doing right now. One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is, “What is the most important thing I could be doing right now?” It’s so easy to get distracted by all the things going on around us that we often waste our days doing things that have no eternal value. We can climb the corporate ladder, but at what cost to our families and relationship to God? We can achieve some measure of notoriety but it doesn’t change who we are in the eyes of Jesus. Every day we need to ask ourselves what it is we can do to serve God right now, right where we find ourselves. That is the most important thing we can be doing at that moment, and that is where we must put our full focus.
- Take time to reflect. One of the biggest mistakes I make is not taking the time to reflect on my day, my week, my month or my year. Not doing so tends to find us making the same mistakes over and over again. Spend fifteen minutes at the end of each day, and hour at the end of the week, half a day at the end of the month, and a weekend at the end of each year looking back on what has transpired in your life. Who did you meet? What sort of conversations did you engage in? How did you serve others? Most importantly, in what ways did you look like Jesus in that time period? Pray as you reflect, asking God to show you how you could do better in the situations you faced; ask for His wisdom and strength to help you live a life worthy of His approval. Taking the time to reflect and pray will help you grow in your relationship with Jesus.
It’s important to keep things simple. We must not allow our lives to become so busy and preoccupied that we begin to lose sight of the person we were created to be. Nothing matters except for Jesus; focus on serving others in His name. Make time to sit in His presence, reflecting on His glory and basking in His love. Keep it simple.