We are living in a world where we are constantly inundated with information. News comes to us almost immediately as it happens. In fact, we pretty much carry the news in our pockets with the smartphone technology available to us today. This convenience comes to us at a price however. We lose focus. Do we concentrate on the one on one conversation at hand o the latest text or Facebook message we have received? Do we drop everything to read the latest national or local news update? Do any of these even really matter?
On a clear, bright sunny day take a powerful magnifying glass and a stack of newspapers and go outside for an experiment. Hold the magnifying glass over a pile of crumpled pages. Even though you’re magnifying the power of the suns rays through the glass lens, you will never start a fire – if you keep moving the glass.
But if you hold the magnifying glass still, allowing it to focus the rays and a concentrated beam of sun energy, you harness the power of the sun and multiply it through the lens – starting a fire.
MAGNIFYNG OUR LIVES
Our lives are very much the same. Many people, including myself, struggle with focus. Sometimes we have so many projects on our plates that we have a regimented way of completing them. The to-do-list in our head is constantly looking ahead to the next item on the list. We are looking a few line items ahead so as to not fall behind. When we do this there are drawbacks.
We lose focus on the task at hand. This results in sloppy work and output. We are not putting our best foot forward, instead, we are giving a little bit of ourselves to each project. The outcome is several mediocre completed projects instead of one great one.
Evangelization is the same way. We often dream big in hopes of changing the world. We need to think a little smaller. We need to focus. How do we approach evangelization then? One person at a time. It is not necessary that we change an entire community, though that would be pretty AWESOME. Instead we need to set our sights a little closer to home. Focus our energies on family and neighbors.
All of us likely have one family member or friend who is either fallen away or become slothful in their faith. A gentle nudge is all it takes to make a difference. Lend them a good book to read. That book may be the catalyst that sparks a fire in their lives. It happened that way to me. You would not be reading this article right now had it not been for a very good friend of mine who loaned me Father Larry Richards’ book, Be A Man. My friend had no idea where that simple gesture would lead. I use my story as an example for you so that you can realize that great things can happen with just a little nudge.
WHERE SHOULD WE FOCUS
The focus I speak of must be two-step process . We must first realize what the New Testament is all about. That is that eternal life through Jesus Christ is the central teaching of the New Testament. As the Catholic Bible Dictionary so eloquently states: As Creator, Christ gave “earthly life” to the human race (John 1:1–4), and as Redeemer he came to give us the abundance of “divine life” (John 10:10). When we realize and accept this we learn where our focus MUST, not should, be honed in on. We are talking about our eternal salvation, our life eternal and the options are quite simple; heaven or hell. There is no middle ground here to speak of. Focus on heaven so that that may be your eternity.
To do this, and this where evangelization comes in, we must take to heart the words from Luke. “Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33). By sacrificing our time and efforts to bring the faith to others we are fulfilling the second step in the process. We are giving of ourselves to lead others to Christ. Remember however when doing this the keyword of this article; focus, focus, focus. One person at a time and you will change the world.
The Catholic Bible Dictionary continues. “Eternal life comes to those who worship God, keep his commandments, and follow Christ, “the Author of life” (Acts 3:15; cf. Acts 5:20; 13:48; 17:25). Eternal life is thus a foretaste of the life to come. It is begun at baptism, which brings us new life in Christ (Rom 6:4). The old life has passed away for the sinner, the life of the flesh (Rom 8:12), and a resurrection has occurred in the soul (Rom 6:13) that anticipates the resurrection of the body (Rom 8:11).”
Let us share this truth with those around us. Let us focus on bringing people to the fullness of truth one person at time. Keep in mind that each individual we evangelize may very well go out and evangelize their friends. A steady snowball effect will ensue. Focusing yields many wonderful results. Try it and ignite your evangelization efforts.