St Andrew’s Assembly Devotion – Focus


The O level examination results were just released this past Monday. One of the highlights for me was hearing that our school produced a 9 A1 student for the first time in many years. Outstanding! I’m sure if you asked him, he’d tell you that the effort and sacrifice was well worth it.

There is another piece of news that is more sobering. Yesterday, a 16 year old student collapsed and died after a PE run. 16 years old.

This morning, I want to share with you a passage from the Bible that combines elements of these two incidents.

Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” What does it mean to number our days? 1… 2… 3… no, of course it doesn’t mean that. It simply means we are to recognize that our days on earth are limited, and therefore we must choose to use them wisely. So Psalm 90:12 is a prayer by the Psalmist to God, asking God to teach him to use his time and his life wisely.

Every person who has ever achieved anything of significance in their lives knows this principle. If you know me long enough, you would know that I’m an Apple fan (not the fruit, the technology company). It wasn’t too long ago, slightly more than 10 years ago, that Apple as a company was struggling. Microsoft was dominating. The turnaround came about when they got Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple whom they fired, back on board as the CEO of the company.

From there, the company birthed the iPod, the iMac, the iPhone, the iPad etc. Today, Apple is the largest technology company in the world. The iPhone alone brings in more revenue than the entire revenue of Microsoft. Before Steve Jobs passed away, he was asked in an interview what was the secret of Apple’s success.

We would have guessed things like: design, innovation, marketing etc. But it’s fascinating because one of the key factors he mentioned was this, and he said, “I’m as proud of the things we didn’t do as the things we did.” Steve Jobs said the key to Apple’s success was focus. They deliberately chose NOT to do a lot of things to focus on doing SOME things well.

At the start of the year, perhaps it’s a good time to evaluate your life. What are the activities you’re spending time on that you may need to eliminate in order to focus on what you need to do. One simple things that my wife and I decided in our household, was to do without cable television. In fact, we don’t even watch much television. The time we spend on the television is more often than not, deliberate time. A good movie with the children. Controlled time on the X-box that the children spend playing together.

Why did we do this? It’s simple. Because our time needs to be invested in important things. Time spent with spouse. Time spent with our children. Time spent on our work. Time spent serving in church.

Friends, we must recognise that our time is limited. 24 hours a day. 365 days a year. And the number of years that God would give us. We must choose NOT to do a lot of things to focus on doing SOME things well. And may God grant us wisdom, grace and discipline to do so. Let’s pray.


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