Focused on Boston

The view of Boston from the 26th floor of the Hilton Back Bay is a beauty. It was there that I decided would be the best place to spend my quiet time with the Lord for today. Funny how it is that I choose to overlook the busy city rather than sit in my quiet hotel room where there are no distractions. But having a bird’s eye view of Boston seemed exciting, and sometimes, it takes that turn from the ordinary to be reminded of God’s greatness. Seeing the ant-sized people below made me realize how small I must seem to God. Have you ever thought about that? God has the entire universe to look out for, and here we are, a microscopic speck of dust, tinier than those Whos in Whoovile. And yet, we don’t need to shout together all at once, “WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE!” We don’t even have to speak aloud, and God still hears us. Crazy.
So as I was spending my time up on the 26th floor, reading through Corinthians, taking my mind off my race and thinking about the city of Corinth. I thought about Paul, writing his letter to this busy city which was an important part of the trade route in the ancient world. I thought about the church of Corinth, and its issues and divisions. I looked out at Boston. Here was a busy city, a city with so much history, so many people of so many backgrounds and religions. I looked at the church just below me, looked at the people rushing by and wondered where they were going and what they were doing.
The past few days running around Boston has been quite enjoyable. Being in the heart of the city and still being just a few blocks from the river made for a nice run and major change of scenery from Tally. As I ran with the team, we all talked about whether we could see ourselves living in a big city like Boston. I wasn’t so sure I could. Despite the unique historic buildings and apartments that look straight from the movies, tons of shopping and restaurant options, I wasn’t so keen on going back to living in the snowy-cold and also the constant hustle and bustle. However, just because I don’t think of my self as a city-dweller, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy visiting them. This being my fourth trip to race in Boston, I’ve decided its probably my favorite place to visit. With so much to do and see here though, its no wonder the coaching staff has to give a warning to save our legs and not do a walking tour of the entire city. We were told to just pretend we aren’t even in Boston and treat the meet like any other and keep our focus. While that was certainly disappointing, it wasn’t unexpected, and it made perfect sense. Thats always a coach’s biggest fear; having the athletes get distracted before the championship. The only way to avoid that is pure and mandated focus. I decided that’s gonna be my key word for this meet; just staying focused. So as I was sitting by the window of the 26th floor, looking out at the busy city below and I began to think about Matthew 6:33.  Matthew chapter six is all about keeping focused on the important things in life, that being God. Matthew 6:31-33 says,
“Therefore, do not be anxious saying, What shall we eat? or ‘What shall we drink?’ or What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
This made me feel kinda guilty for wanting to walk around town and go shopping, worry so much about what to eat today before my race, or worry about how my hair looks before I run. But the bigger point here is not letting these things get in the way of what really matters, whether thinking in terms of a race, or in terms of life. In the same way, my goal for tonight’s race, for this entire meet, and for the whole season of Lent is to stay more focused on what is the most important. That being God and specifically taking more time away from the ordinary and spending time in prayer with Him.
As someone who is easily distracted, I’ve come to learn that the it takes extra effort for me to stay focused.  The world around us is full of distraction, corruption, and temptation. But if you keep your life focused around one thing, it doesn’t matter what city you’re in, what race you have ahead, or how how anxious you may feel. The way, the truth and the light to guide you will always be there.

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