I am a sports fan. No doubt about it. This is a great time of year for a sports fan. The lights at MetLife stadium had barely gone dark on Super Bowl XLVIII before the dazzling ceremony in Sochi marked the commencement of the Winter Olympic Games. To add to a sport enthusiast’s euphoria…March Madness is right around the corner where a collegiate basketball national champion will be named. Then comes Spring Training and we are now just about 45 days away from welcoming the boys of summer to the field and hearing those now familiar words…”Play Ball!”
While I do most definitely enjoy the competition and the drama of sports, I also appreciate what it takes for an athlete or a team to be successful. I find it fascinating.
It starts with a goal. Before anything happens, athletes and teams get a good, honest view of where they are and then look to where they need or want to be. They then make plans accordingly. Along the way is the discipline, the commitment, to put those plans to action. Eyes on the goal…feet on the path. Dogged determination.
The thing that fascinates me most, however, is the “right now” nature of competition and athletic performance. In a word…focus. Athletes and teams, successful ones anyway, have an admirable capacity to focus on what is right now…what is right in front…what is next.
Ice skaters focus on the next trick. The one they just performed is over and the ones coming later in the routine are…well…later. Snowboarders on the half pipe put amazing performances together…one skill at a time. If they take their eye off of the next thing…they are eating snow. I don’t know the name of the event – but those guys who ski for a long time and then stop to do a little target shooting before skiing more are amazing to me. They get to a point in the race where they simply lay down in order to hit five targets with a rifle before moving on. They can’t worry about what’s happened up until that point. They can’t worry about who is behind them or who has gone on ahead. They can’t rush. They simply must focus on what’s next…five targets. If they can’t hit them, it’s all over. The same is true for every team in the NCAA basketball tournament. It’s great to think about making the Final Four and being heralded as champion in ATT Stadium in North Texas but in order to get there a team has to outplay and outscore the opponent right in front of them. And then the next…and the next…and the next. You get the idea.
Focus, discernment, intention, commitment, direction, one step at a time – this is the language of iMAGiNEXT.
If you have not participated in the guided thinking (like we did together on January 26th) then pick up an iMAGiNEXT booklet at the main reception desk or go to “Mobilize Now” on our website under the Mobilization tab. Pray about the possibilities. Deliberately. Intentionally.
Plan to attend the Mobilization Fair on March 2nd at JCBC. You will have the chance to sign up for a wide variety of “nexts” …many of which you will find in the back of the iMAGiNEXT booklet or online…here.
The fact is…none of us will ever get close to where we want or need to be if we don’t pay careful attention to now…to next…and then the next…and the next…and the next…
Johns Creek Baptist Church
Pastor David .. I was intrigued by your message today… the operative word in our focus upon JESUS and His Church for me is ” discernment” If we do not have spiritual discernment in regard to the REVELATION of the HOLY BIBLE then intent and direction can be grossly distracted by the wiles and the means of this misguided Culture… Thank you for serving as you do in the many ways that help those who come to you … I no longer serve at EMORY
Johns Creek Hospital because of my other commitments… But I remember you, as always being there with the FLOCK when you were notified. Thank you David for you discerning service to this Church … mary lou
I am excited about the Mobilazation Fair which will stimulate our imaginenext. Preparing for what will be my ministry needs more focus, just as you described in your blog. Focus and prayer is what I will be doing until the church is ready to start with these imaginext programs. Everyone get excited and get involved with this inspired program.