Matthew 14:30 “But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ ”
Our world has gotten quite used to multi-tasking. Every day young mothers perform household chores, answer numerous questions, and keep all senses alert to their children’s activities and safety. On the other side of the spectrum business owners execute projects, answer phones, and put out fires almost simultaneously. But there are certain things in life where multi-tasking will not work. These things require complete laser focus. Without it, a person will sink!
Early on in my line of work I realized there was a certain task that would require this laser focus. While I can keep the books, answer phones, and respond to incoming visitors with no problem, when I sit behind the clerking cart at an auction I must strong-arm my mind into complete concentration and submission. If I don’t maintain that focus, I will almost certainly miss important details that will force me to disrupt the steady auction flow, or worse yet, leave us with faulty information at the checkout counter.
Over the years I have gotten better at this difficult undertaking and I must apologize to my wonderful friends and auction goers who may not understand. I love you all and care very much about your questions and conversation attempts, but when I am at the cart, my mind, eyes, and ears are riveted on the auctioneer. Even the briefest attempt at courtesy when I blurt out, “Can’t talk now!” may not end well and I will need to stop all of the proceedings to inquire, “What did that sell for?” or “What was that buyer number?”
There are also times in our spiritual life when we need laser focus. Peter, Jesus’ disciple, discovered this the hard way. He and his fellow disciples found themselves in a boat a long way from land one evening. As the waves picked up the terrified men noticed a ghostly figure walking towards them on the turbulent waters. Jesus, the figure in question, immediately alleviated their fears by revealing His identity, so Peter asked if he could come to Him on the water.
Jesus agreed and Peter fearlessly jumped in and started to walk across the swelling waves. But within moments Peter lost his laser focus. Feeling the angry surf splash his legs and distracted by the screaming wind, the disciple took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink into the inky darkness. Between gulps of lake water he managed to scream for help, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately stretched out his hand, took hold of the waterlogged disciple, and helped him back into the boat as the waves settled and all of the men fell to their knees in worship.
This amazing story illustrates a weakness I often struggle with. I know what God’s word reveals about the power and kindness of my heavenly Father, but so often when I find myself in the midst of a scary situation I lose my laser focus. The waves I encounter draw my attention away from the truth and I begin to sink in terror and confusion.
Other times I am distracted from my life-purpose by the voices of the world telling me that I am not good enough. My ear picks up the lies and before I know it my heart and courage are submerged in despair and discouragement as I struggle to survive.
In like manner, I sometimes find myself diverted from the best use of my time by other good, but wasteful, endeavors. These also can disturb my laser focus and cause me to end up somewhere I don’t want to be.
Thankfully, Peter gives us a good example of what to do when we start to sink. He didn’t waste any time, but called out to the One Who could save him from drowning. And Jesus responded just in time, saving Him and getting him back into the boat.
Multi-tasking is useful and good for some things, but there are also times when intense focus is in order. When surrounded by waves of difficulty or sitting at an auction cart, it is important to give all your energy to locking your mind onto the right thing. Don’t worry about what other people might think. Do what you need to do. Set your laser focus onto the Lord and His word. Otherwise you just might sink!
Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.