Just a Little Focus

I realized something about myself today…I’m a generalist.  In a
society of specialists I am not one.  I could be.  I have the
ability, training, and concentration needed to be a specialist, but I’m
not.  I’m officially a generalist.
Don’t get me wrong here.  There are days when I really like being
a generalist.  I like variety.  I like the challenge of
getting something done that I really only know a little bit
about.  Like when I take on a 20 minute and $5 plumbing project
that turns into a 2 day and $50 project.  But I get it done and,
hopefully, I know more about it the next time. 
So the problem that I have with my status as a generalist is that it’s
not necessarily a status that I’ve chosen for myself.  It’s a
status that seems to be forced on most of us.  (I use the word
“forced” loosly because a lot of it has to do with our choices to
conform more than necessity.)  We have to be generalists to
survive.  It’s the old “bring home the bacon and fry it up in a
pan” commercial from the 70’s.  We’re so rushed and things have to
get done that we force ourselves to know a little bit about a whole lot
of nothing.  “What’d ya do today?”  “Oh, you know…this and
that, odds and ends, a whole lot of nothing.”  I think this is one
of the reasons that many of us feel like the little hamster on the
wheel.  Been there, done that…been there, done that…been
there…. 
I know that it spills over into my own spiritual life.  I
“generally” follow Jesus.  Really, I just try to keep everything
pointing the right direction while I’m so distracted by other
stuff.  Kinda like hearding cats.  I know he calls me to “be
still” at times so I schedule a short time of being still, but all I
can think about is what I have to get done at the end of that time
(take out the trash, work on the car, mow the yard, etc.).
When it comes to the theme of my life I want to be a specialist. 
I want to specialize in loving people because of my love for God. 
I want that theme to run through my days.  I want that flavor to
be evident when I leave this world.  Like the smell of baking
bread left over in the kitchen even after it’s gone.  In order for
that to happen I have to be a specialized-generalist.  I like
that.  God’s love flowing through me to others in EVERY area of my
life.  In every endeavor.  In every project.  I’m not
there yet — by any means!  But that’s where I want to go. 
Maybe there’s a seminar for that.  I’d probably do better with one
of those “for Dummies” books.  Following Jesus for Dummies…
What about you…are you a generalist or a specialist?  How do you stay focused? 

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~ by Chris Green on October 14, 2004.

One Response to “Just a Little Focus”

  1. Generalist vs SpecialistTake the dictionary as an example. A generalist is one who will only look at the bold capitalized letters printed on top of the dictionary pages.A specialist is one who will zero in on each and every word of a page.LET’S SAY YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE DEFENITION OF “FLUX”As a generalist, will you be able to find the word “flux” simply by looking at the CAPITALIZED BOLD LETTERS AT THE TOP OF PAGES? Maybe, yes, if it happens to be there. But most likely, you won’t find “flux that way.As a specialist, will you be able to find the word “flux” SIMPLY BY ZEROING ON JUST ANY PAGE IN THE DICTIONARY, AT RANDOM??? Maybe yes, if you happen to hit the RIGHT PAGE, BUT MOST LIKELY, YOU’LL HIT THE WRONG PAGE, AND AS ONE SONG GOES, “WE DIDN’T FIND IT THERE, SO WE MOVED ON….”So to find the word “FLUX”, it is best to get a bird’s eyeview first (A GENERALIST) instead of zeroing in immediately. ONLY AFTER YOUVE FOUND THE RIGHT PAGE SHOULD YOU CHANGE INTO A SPECIALIST. (Of course, in the dictionary, as in the world, ANY WORD YOU FIND IN THE DICTIONARY CAN BE INTERESTING.)So too with the Bible. Some have just zeroed in on just any page, and said that they are right, because it says so, right there in the Bible, in that very page, book, chapter, and verse. BUT THIS KIND OF VERY SPECIALIST STYLE IS THE REASON WHY WE NOW HAVE OVER 27,000 DIFFERENT CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS AND STILL GROWING. BUT IF WE LOOK AT THE BIBLE WITH A BIRD’S EYEVIEW OF A GENERALIST, WE MIGHT FIND THAT AT THE VERY END OF THE BIBLE, IT HAS A WARNING ABOUT SUBTRACTING OR ADDING TO THE BIBLE. AND WE KNOW THAT SOME BIBLES ARE MISSING SOME BOOKS, EVEN THE NUMBERS ARE DIFFERENT!!! WE WILL ALSO FIND THAT JESUS SAYS THAT WHAT HE WANTS IS THAT THERE BE JUST ONE FLOCK AND ONE SHEPHERD, NOT LIKE THIS WHERE THE SHEEP ARE DIVIDED INTO OVER 27,000 FLOCKS AND OVER 27,000 SHEPHERDS.

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