There is an old saying: “If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it.” That is a true statement. Yet in our current culture, there might be an even bigger and less acknowledged danger. Perhaps the companion saying ought to be, “If you aim at everything, you’ll never hit anything.” Our current culture has consumed the virtue of multi-tasking; we need to recover the importance of focus and single-minded discipline.

Focus is crucial in business. Imagine a hospital. They exist to care for the sick. That is an important task. If they decide that they are not sure if they are a great hospital, and begin selling groceries, auto insurance and teaching English as a second language courses, they will speed their decline rather than prevent it. The ability to know what you are attempting to accomplish and then sticking with it is the mark of a wise business plan. It is just as important to know what business you are not in as the business you are in.

Focus is important for people as well. One excellent way this has been expressed is that we need to have a better “yes” in order to know how to say “no”. Our personal lives should exhibit the same kind of focus that is called for in business.

Jesus calls us to serve God with the same mindset. Consider this scripture:

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Matthew 6:24

It is very easy to try to serve multiple masters. We do it often. It is impossible to succeed. Like a man standing with a foot on the dock and another on a boat pulling out of the harbor, you are soon forced to a decision in a world of limited time and resources. Again Jesus says:

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:62

Here “looking back” implies a sense of regretting your decision. A better yes enables you to let go of regret.  If you on your way to an appointment where you are inheriting a million dollars, you should not lament the $2.00 bus ticket you had to buy to get there.

Our businesses, our personal lives and our relationship with Jesus all call for focus. That means choosing to leave some things behind—hobbies, certain work opportunities, conflicting visions of the future. You cannot have it all. You must choose. The good news is, you can have all that God purposes for you, and Jesus said he came that you might have life–an abundant life (John 10:10).

I could say more, but there would be real irony in doing so.