Tuesday, December 1, 2015
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I've seen several Presidents come and go in my lifetime. But during that time there's been only one Queen of England – Queen Elizabeth II – and she recently celebrated a milestone. She became Britain's longest reigning monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria. It's pretty amazing when you think about it. Over 63 years as Queen.
Compare what the world was like say in 1952 when her father's sudden death made her queen overnight and what the world is like now. Elizabeth has been as one leader said, "a constant in a changing world."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Power of a Lasered Life."
Now Elizabeth is not my queen, but she is an example who inspires me and a lot of other people. Really, anyone who wants to know the secret of a life that's well-lived, well-respected and stable through the storms. Well, there's an example here.
Her subjects celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 in what was called "splendid fashion". There were celebrations, speeches, parades, and special events where you could see the Queen. Even news shows in America – the "colonies" – seemed pretty taken with the celebration, the pageantry, and the extraordinary woman being honored.
It's not like she's had an easy go of it: economic disasters in her country, political upheaval, wars, terrorism, family heartbreaks, the death of Diana, brutal attacks by the press. But through it all, Queen Elizabeth has always been Queen Elizabeth – dignity, duty, leadership.
During all the TV coverage of the Jubilee, I saw an old black-and-white video of the pledge that she broadcast to the Commonwealth in 1947, on her 21st birthday. That's five years before she would be thrust into being queen. Her words have turned out to be her biography. "I declare before you that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great Imperial family to which we all belong." While, in our day, her position carries no significant authority, her person has commanded enormous respect and affection.
In the words of a USA Today story, "The queen can say she made good on her promise." In the words of her grandson – and the future king, Prince William – "she's done everything she can for the country...she has not let anyone down."
That's the power of living for only one thing. Which, by the way, is how we're all wired to live. You make promises you can keep and you keep them. You remain focused no matter what. You know what you need to do when everything's going crazy around you and you are the calm in everyone's chaos.
That's why David would pray in the Bible, "O Lord, give me an undivided heart" (Psalm 86:11). God has promised "I will give them an undivided heart" (Ezekiel 11:19). The Bible contrasts an "undivided heart" with the lives of fragmented focus that most of us live: "A double-minded man (is) unstable in all he does" (James 1:8).
There's something magnetic about a person who's learned and who lives the secret of a powerful life. Finding that one thing that will govern everything you do; the sun around which all the "planets" of your life will revolve; the North Star that guides every choice, every response, every priority.
The Bible tells us clearly the cause for which we were created. It says, "Live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord" (1 Corinthians 7:35). Not Jesus as a compartment in your life, with you doing pretty much what you want with the rest of the compartments. No, Jesus like Paul talked about Him in our word for today from the Word of God, in Philippians 1:21 where he simply says, "For, to me, to live is Christ". He says, "Christ, who is our life" in Colossians 3:8. Not just your belief, not just part of your life. Your life. Period. Everything: my love, my spending, my vocation, my recreation, my commitments must revolve around Him.
A fragmented life is a powerless life. A focused life is a powerful life. A wide river is lazy and often stagnant. But a river in narrow banks rises forceful and swift. Diffused light cannot begin to do what the concentrated light of a laser beam can do. A life that's diffused over too many commitments and fragmented by trying to do everything is frantic, not peaceful; frustrating more than fulfilling and always up for grabs rather than "steady as she goes."
Why don't you focus on laser living? That's what makes a difference. That's what makes life make sense and will make you "a constant in a changing world."