Out of Focus

I just finished reading “The Slumber of Christianity” by Ted Dekker. It’s his first non-fiction title. All about renewing and refreshing our perspective off of what’s material and right in front of us, and onto the one thing that really matters…our future with Christ. It’s more than a little thought-provoking, and I highly recommend it. I also recommend that, should you decide to read it, you actually take a little time to meditate upon and implement changes in your life because of it.

I didn’t. And tonight I seriously screwed up. Not anything that has shattered or shaken my temporal comfort or security, but I know I’m gonna hear about it in Heaven at some point.

I was asked at work tonight to pray with one the patients on my unit, and, honestly, I kind of blew it off. There were two other counselors with me at the time, both of whom are Believers, who I think took my lead to some degree on that decision. I ran scared, because I am, of course professionally bound not to impose my faith on someone under my care. I could certainly receive a reprimand should I ever pray with a patient, whether or not it is at their reques, despite the fact that, educationally and experientially speaking, I am over-qualified to do so. I chose to make other things a priority, and never got around to it. That way I didn’t just blow the patient off. I wasn’t guilty of that in my mind.

Until I got home, and God started gently reminding me that I am.

So, here I am at 2 a.m. attempting to focus my thoughts, and I’m realizing that I really should have listened to Dekker’s advice a bit more closely. I started remembering things tonight. I was remembering when I moved here, to start Seminary. I had a different concept of where I was going with life at that time, a different idea of what I was trying to accomplish, but I had come here on a wing and a prayer. I had left a position with an agency that I had worked with for several years. With that position, I left a beautiful and comfortable salary. To go to school full time. For a degree that, professionally, wasn’t going to do me any good. For a dream that made no sense to most, but made sense to God, because He was the one Who had given it to me. So I landed, relocated my life, and off I went.

And now, two years later, I’ve been pulled away. My focus has shifted onto the societal definition of success that I had left behind, and I’ve began to hunger for it. I’ve began to desire that again. I’ve began to want my writing to meet with men’s applause again. I want money. Badly. I want the things that it buys. Badly. I want a nice place and sweet vacations instead of living paycheck to paycheck. I want a lot.

I’ve kind of forgotten what He’s wanting. And because I did, I made a lousy decision tonight, because I wasn’t toally caught up with Him as I should have been. I let an amazing opportunity pass me by, and someone’s soul quite literally hung in the balance.

It’s not an issue of forgiveness…not at all. I know that I am. It’s an issue of not making the mistake again. It’s an issue of returning my focus to the primary motivation: what happens after this life.

Everything else becomes extremely insignificant when compared to that. Don’t you think?


  1. Honestly, Dave, I have my hands full with focusing on my life in the present. I also think I’m too selfish (and not ready) to think about what actions I do now will have on my afterlife.

    Can you be saved by Jesus, yet still live an unChristian life, and still “be saved” do you think? I asked this question of a young Christian girl and she said she didn’t know how I could be saved, yet lead a life that seemed to be running away from Him. I told her I wasn’t running in either direction, though.

    Think it matters?

  2. I can safely say yes, that it is certainly possible to be “saved” and live an unChristian life, because I did it for a really long time. Accepting Jesus into your heart kind of declares you “legally” saved in God’s eyes…acquitted, in a way. He certainly wants us to live the life that He has described in the Bible, but if we choose not to do so, that doesn’t change the fact that we accepted Jesus. Once we have believed in Him, and asked Him to forgive us and save us, then the deal is sealed. We honestly couldn’t lose it if we tried.

    I think God understands also how easy it is for us to get ourselves tangled up in life and lose our bearings. He’s nothing if not patient. I can totally identify with, and I love the way you phrased it, “not running in either direction.” I wasn’t willing to run away from God, but I didn’t want to run toward Him either, because it seemed like that would end up being pretty painful.

    At some point, you’ll find yourself ready! 🙂

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