And....we're back with Devin Riley, guest blogging health and fitness applications to the current sermon series, Days of Future Past on the Book of Daniel. With over a decade of experience, and over 25,000 sessions completed at Hoffacker Health and Fitness, Devin is a true marathon man. If he’s not running or riding his bike, he’s mindfully pushing the weight to get the most out of his body in the least amount of time. Devin has attended Heartland Church with his family since 2006. If you don't see him in the sanctuary, chances are he's onstage entertaining and educating your little ones in the Crossroads (K-4) Ministry. Connect with Devin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome back to another week of you reading my words about Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan. In case you’ve just joined us, let’s review. Pastor Rick focuses on 5 areas (Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, Friendship) that influence how richly you experience this thing called life. This week, we’re talking about FOCUS.
Galatians 5:16 says that we are to “live freely, animated, and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then we won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.” Another way to say that is this:
"What you think becomes what you feel.
What you feel becomes what you do."
Re-read that. Now re-read that again out loud. Don’t worry if Dan from accounting is giving you odd looks because you’re talking to yourself in your cube. You’re focused on the knowledge I’m about to drop on you.
Pastor Darryn brought it strong in his message when he preached this: “Focus means order. Order determines capacity.” It seems so simple. But how often are you consumed by the minutia of the mundane? How many times have you caught yourself dreaming of a big accomplishment, but stop short of ever starting because your head becomes filled with all the potential difficulties that *might*spring up. You get lost in small, distracting details that might not ever become a reality and you miss seeing the big picture? I’m not talking about being detail-oriented and careful. I’m talking about focusing all your time and energy on something that yields anxiety, doubt, worry, poor judgment, inaction, and apathy.
Proper focus comes with a plan. I proper plan means you can be efficient. Efficiency means you can get more done—with peace of mind. Things tend to work best when you put them in the right order. Ever put together your own furniture? How about a toy for your kid? Intuitively, you can conceptualize how to put it together. You can even see the finished product there on the side of the box. But when you’ve got the parts spread out in front of you, and you survey all that you need to do, it can be overwhelming. You can dive right in and start inserting tab (a) into slot (b) (See illustration 1—thanks , Leo, for the drawing)
But soon you realize that you forgot to do several preparatory steps BEFORE insering tab (a) into slot (b). And now you can go no further without undoing tab (a) and slot (b). Hopefully you can do it without damage. Many times you cannot. A lot of time, energy, and frustration could have been saved if you read the manual.
Sometimes damage happens no matter what. You’re saying sure, Devin, I get where you’re going with this analogy, but there’s no users manual for life. There’s no owners manual for your kids (am I screwing them up?), your spouse(is my marriage all it can be?), your health and wellness (I should exercise more and eat better!).
There is a manual. For all of those situations. And no matter where you are in the process of putting your life together, you can apply the directions in this manual and start rebuilding—the way it was intended to be built.
The book of Romans is an amazing example of how the Bible can be a users manual for your life.
Romans 12:2 is especially applicable here: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
I also want to add here—“be transformed by the renewing of your body and spirit.” You see, it’s all intwined. We tend to compartmentalize things and not realize how one aspect of our lives influences another. You cannot have a healthy, renewed mind without a healthy, renewed body. The same goes for your spirit/soul. Want me to make this personal? OK.
My mom is sick. She has been for 22 years. She’s got Primary Lateral Sclerosis, (PLS) and it’s similar to ALS and MS. It attacks your central nervous system and deteriorates your muscles. She’s in a wheelchair. She can’t talk. She has trouble moving. She has to be fed. It takes her hours to eat a single meal. She kept moving as long as she could, because she knew movement meant life. Even though she can’t move know, my dad, her only caregiver, moves her every few hours. Movement—even from a lying to a standing, to a seated position—means life. It means renewal. She is a devout believer who has not lost her faith in the face of this debilitating disease.
- Focus on your fitness and know that the bettering of your body betters your mind and spirit.
- Focus on your mind (thoughts) and know that the bettering of your mind betters your spirit and body.
- Focus on your spirit (feelings) and know that the bettering of your spirit betters body and mind.
See what I did there? All statements are true. What can you focus on this week to be better?
Run the good race. Fight the good fight. Live the life you were called to live. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.