“‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.'” — Matthew 6:33
Some time ago, I was listening to a sports commentator talk about focus and why it’s vital for any athlete in the pressure of the moment to prioritize the next right thing to do. He brought up the acronym of W.I.N.:
He mentioned that it’s very helpful when you get in tense situations in sports not to let your mind run out to results or outcomes or anything else, but to concentrate on what’s most necessary and significant for you to do right then. Not in five minutes from now, but presently. Here. In the immediate.
Stress can get to all of us at one time or another. The constant barrage of things calling for our attention and causing us to feel overwhelmed is immense. There are so many responsibilities and so much information at any given moment begging for us to attend to that it’s easy to think we’ve got to handle it all at once. To think of processes, outcomes, concerns and details and to try to keep the big picture at the same time — it’s a lot.
But one thing I’ve been learning in my own life for a while is that often, the best way to tackle everything is to focus on the next thing. You’ll get buried in the pile really quickly if you try to go after the whole problem all in one go, but you’ll feel like things are manageable the more you prioritize your approach in the present.
Talk to any great athlete and they’ll tell you they’ve learned how to train their mind to focus on the next shot, the next stroke, the next stride. If they let themselves start thinking too much about the score or the outcome, they’ll press too much and start to make major mistakes. The key is to just chip away one step, one move, at a time.
We all have a purpose, a mission or an assignment to fulfill and that will often take on many forms throughout our lives. But the goal isn’t to focus on trying to be everything to everyone at all times and feeling like we’ve got to handle it all. The goal is to make sure we’re doing it all the right way as we live out our personal journeys. Are we loving God the right way? Treating others the right way? Taking care of ourselves the right way?
At the end of the day, God’s Word has made it simple:
Honor God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
Don’t be conformed to this world but transformed (Romans 12:2).
Love God with all your heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).
Love others as you love yourself (Matthew 22:39).
In doing these things, we fulfill the next right thing no matter what challenges we have to tackle. Because what’s important now is how we W.I.N. — not just in this life but also for the life to come.
— Katherine Singer
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