FIXING TO HAVE A GREAT YEAR
by Bob Hawkins
Christmas and New Year's are now long gone, even the delicious leftovers are all eaten. Back on the rig now, looking forward to the next trip home, what are you thinking about? Christmas, for some, is a build up to reaching a certain satisfaction that may or may not come. Some of us got exactly what he hoped for Christmas. Maybe it was just time with the wife and kids, for some it was a particular gift, or time to go hunting. Is that satisfaction still with you today or did you leave it at home?
It is possible to have a peaceful satisfaction every day of the year regardless of where you are and whatever you are doing.
Wow, what a statement. How is that possible? Well, I am "fixing” to tell you. My wife almost always makes fun of me when I use that Biblical word. Yes, "fixing” is a Biblical word…
Heb 12:1-2 NIV: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
There is a lot of good stuff in this verse, so let me unpack it a little. Fixing relates to one's vision. It means to look intently into something without distraction of other things. Do you use a rifle scope when deer hunting? Of course you do. When I hunt, I always use a rifle scope to provide an intense look into my target, the big buck. A seasoned hunter intends to hit the vital organs on the deer and is not satisfied in just hitting the target. The rifle scope helps me avoid being distracted by things that are not my target. It also provides me with reference points to make adjustments. Without the scope, I am not able to see if I am shooting high, low, left or right.
So, do we have the focus yet? It is simple. Jesus is the standard upon which we "fix” our focus and adjust our behavior, our desires and our goals. He alone is the stable rock on which I can "boresight” my life. Got a problem loving your wife? Think more about Jesus. Got a problem with your fellow rig hands? Think about Jesus service to others. Got a problem wanting more stuff? Think about how Jesus left all he had and chose to live as a baby boy, grow into manhood and follow his earthly daddy into the family blue collar business, carpentry and furniture making. Jesus became a roughneck so we may enjoy the blessing of becoming the children of the Greatest King, God himself.
So how do we focus on Jesus? Like hunting a trophy deer, we also need a plan to pursue the prize of God himself. You have got to "fix” your plan. Here is my plan.
First, I love listening to God's word being read. I intend to listen to the Bible every day. Most of the time I can spend 45 minutes of audio Bible time in my car on the way to work. The entire Bible is only 88 hours of audio! This makes keeping your promise to get through the Bible in a year pretty simple. One of my favorite audio Bibles is the Word of Promise Bible. This version has first rate actors such as Lou Gosset, Jon Voight, Gary Sinese, and Richard Dreyfuss. You can see the Word of Promise Bible at http://www.wordofpromise.com/. Faith Comes By Hearing is a very good free audio Bible. They have an audio Bible in virtually every language today. See http://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/. Their mobile app is the best.
Second, I want to show my wife that I love her more than ever. While I don't have a clear answer for how I am going to do that, I am acknowledging before God that I have not loved her in way that I can love her. There is a simple reason why: Like many men, I am too selfish. I often put my own needs and desires ahead of hers. I want to unselfishly love her. Jesus loved me with complete disregard for himself. I want to love my wife like Jesus loves me. It is not often that I have to sacrifice my own desires that she may have what she wants or needs. This year, I will ask myself, what have I done today to sacrificially love my wife and my kids?
Third, I plan to meet with other Christian men every week for encouragement. A few guys from my church meet at a specific restaurant every Wednesday morning at the same time. My OCF chapter also offers opportunities to meet with other men and women in addition to the monthly meetings.
Boiling it all down.
God knows it is very difficult for us to follow a lot of rules. That is why he only gave ten of them. Jesus boiled those ten rules down to one. When He was asked what commandment was most important, He gave this reply.
Mark 22:34-40 NIV "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Loving God with all my heart is my one clear goal for 2012 and every year following. The power God gives us to fix our focus on Jesus will increase our joy in life and enable us to meet every relationship challenge with great success. The number one relationship, of course, is with God himself.
There is nothing like the satisfaction we can experience when our hearts desire is fixed and focused on the only thing that bring us true satisfaction. If you would like to comment or ask questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Facebook.
Happy New Year. It is my prayer for you that this is the year you FIX YOUR FOCUS!