Driving home last night, the neon sign on the church marquee read:
“Focus is an Act of Bravery.”
“Focus is an act of bravery,” I found myself saying out loud, affirming the truth of it, still mesmerized by the sign after driving three city blocks.
And then I wondered why. Why this message in front of a church? And then, why is focus an act of bravery?
In a scrolling, superficial culture, I first guessed, it’s brave to have focus. It’s brave to do the Deep Work… leaving options on the table and diving into a single focus … this takes a kind of courage for sure.
But then I remembered a faint glimmer of words from when I was young … the quote my mom taped to the windowsill above the kitchen sink, something about providence and magic.
Something about commitment.
With a little digging, I found the full quote online, attributed to William Hutchinson Murray, with a couplet from Goethe at the end:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred….Whatever you can do, or dream, you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
I think my faint memory of this quote connects to why I found myself saying the words out loud as I drove by that neon church marquee.
Focus is a commitment of attention. Focus brings providence.
Focus brings whole streams of events, perhaps even whole lives into existence… so focus is bold.
And “boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
So yes, focus is an act of bravery.
Thanks to Summitview Community Church on Drake and Dunbar for the reminder.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear if any of this speaks to you. Do you think that focus is an act of bravery? If so, why? If not, why not? Have you ever felt providence moving once you bravely committed to a course of action?