A few years ago I watched with great interest as Michael Phelps lived up to his potential at the 2008 Summer Olympics. I particularly appreciated the interviews he gave before he stepped into that Olympic pool. Because what caught my attention in each and every interview was Michael’s incredible focus.

As he prepared for the Olympics, he spent four hours in the pool every day – every day – including his birthday, Christmas, Spring Vacation, finals week – every day.

Sometimes, when I am swimming laps, I get to thinking about all that I have to do when I get to the office, or when I go home. And as my mind drifts into what comes next, I lose my focus and often decide I can’t afford the time for a really long swim. Ultimately that probably makes me less effective or efficient on all that comes next, and I realize I would have done better to swim longer.

Focus. We all need it if we are to consistently practice anything – whether it is a sport, a performance, a job, or even our discipleship. We need the people and the places which encourage and support us in hanging onto our focus. That is one reason why the church continues to call us together. This is a place to focus and to help each other to keep that focus each and every day.

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