Focus isn’t easy. Brain science is telling us that effective multi-tasking is a bit of a myth. Not that we can’t get multiple things done at the same time, but we’re beginning to learn that it decreases effectiveness across the board. But we live in a world with a thousand sparkling possibilities, and to say one “yes” means to say a hundred and more “no’s”. I’ve always struggled with this, but I in the past six months have gotten a pretty good look at it from a personal point of view.
In the past six months, I’ve lost over 20 pounds. Not a huge thing, certainly, but it’s taught me something. I kept thinking, “Oh…this is what focus looks like.” Many other things have happened, many other tasks accomplished, but I had a particular goal in mind related to turning 50, so I worked really hard. Why? I don’t know why, but that’s not the point. The point is that for whatever reason, my mind clamped down, and I determined to get it done. And while I didn’t quite hit my midlife crisis (#42, but who’s counting?) goal, I came within spittin’ distance.
In July-August of 2007, I decided to finish a major draft of “Hunting Grace” if it killed me. Focus. And I did.
For the past 18 months, I’ve been focused on the life of the NW Church in Shoreline, and while it has been an amazing and gratifying experience, one of the things it’s taught me is that within that focus, the scope of the work has been too broad to be as effective as I (and the rest of the staff) need to be. A church needs focus as well, and we’re still hunting it. It’s better than it was, and the new preaching minister will help, but I know there are hard choices ahead.
Beyond that, there are hard choices for me as well. I’m going to be acting in Taproot Theatre’s Enchanted April this fall, and will continue at the church at least through the end of the year. At the same time, my mind is beginning to turn toward future writing, acting, and directing projects, and wondering what the focus of that work needs to be. A few friends and I are meeting (albeit irregularly) talking about various theatrical possibilities, and the idea of shooting a film keeps running around in my head. I have a couple of possible germs for stories, and then there is the art and faith book I’d write if I knew I only had a short time to live.
All that being said, these days I pray for God to lead me, to help me make the most of the time. The NW Church experience was all Him (and will continue to be so) and now I wait for the word on the next bit of Kingdom work to focus on.
I’d take…”let there be lights…action…”