Saturday, December 1, 2012


                A new book I am reading is called Talent is Never Enough by John C. Maxwell.  My son mentioned the author to me last spring when his band teacher talked about different aspects Maxwell promoted that could help the students become better musicians.  Clay shared the techniques with me to help me with my writing.  I have finally started reading the authors work.  Today I read a chapter dedicated to focusing on your talent.  The idea sparked a lot of thoughts in me that I thought I would share.

                In our world we have so many shiny things that distract our focus.  My kids and I have a running joke.  When we lose our train of thought we call out “Squirrel.”  Of course, we also say the word when we see a squirrel.  The quote comes from the movie Up.  The dog Doug says this when he sees a squirrel and loses his focus on the task at hand to chase the animal.  We do that as well.  Instead of doing housework, we watch the television.  The lawn continues to grow creating a mini jungle because we go play at the lake.  I lose focus on my writing project because a new idea comes to mind that distracts me.  In fact, with my writing, I feel pulled in the areas of history, fantasy, science fiction, and religion, lot of squirrels.  For years I have thought, why can’t I write for all the genres?  In the last year though, I feel very torn and what I just realized is I am feeling torn because I am not focused on just one.  I need to pick.  I need to focus.

                Our faith life can be just as unfocused.  I am a prime example.  I love learning everything about my faith.  I am always on the lookout for a new saint to study.  For months I have wanted to learn about Padre Pio.  But I keep getting distracted.  Two weeks ago, I finally bought a book about him.  I have read about twenty pages, but the book sits on an end table unopened because I have been doing different reading.  Tomorrow Advent starts, so my focus will switch.  Padre Pio will continue to sit unattended.  My focus has been lost.  This happens for me during prayer as well.  Fortunately, my focus to attend church is strong, but my focus in other areas does waver.

                To succeed in our faith life and all aspects of our life, we need to focus.  Starting tomorrow, I will concentrate on Advent.  Hopefully no squirrels will be jumping in my path, but I think they will in the form of holiday baking, shopping, decorating, shipping, and activities.  In my writing, I am focusing on my fantasy novel, still, forever.  I am sure as I go, squirrels will leap up here as well.  Yet, the further I get in this journey the stronger my focus becomes.  As beginners, focus is hard.  Hours of practice needs happen to become a strong focused individual.  Squirrels jump in our path sending us into the brush, but we can always make our way back to the path and continue on in our faith journey or any journey.  Stay focused my friends.

                Blessings to you all.

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