The "South Forty"
One morning a farmer told his wife that he was going out to plow the "south forty."
He got off to an early start so he could oil the tractor. He needed more oil, so he went to the shop to get it. On the way to the shop he noticed the pigs weren't fed. So he proceeded to the corn crib, where he found some sacks of feed. The sacks reminded him that his potatoes were sprouting. Then when he started for the potato pit, he passed the woodpile and remembered that his wife wanted wood in the house. As he picked up a few sticks, an ailing chicken passed by. He dropped the wood and picked up the chicken.
When evening arrived, the frustrated farmer had not even gotten to the tractor, let alone to the field.
Have you ever intended to do something you knew was very important, but found yourself in a similar situation -- distracted by many other seemingly important
tasks, which kept you from accomplishing your main objective?
Distraction is a common temptation to keep us from doing what is most important. Yes, all these little things may be important, but if we are not careful we will find ourselves drifting aimlessly from one project to another, and ineffective. We need to be focused.
For many years, one of the first things I do every morning is to evaluate all the day's competing demands against a single criterion: How will each opportunity enable me to maximize my contribution to helping fulfill the Great Commission? I prioritize accordingly. Some of the demands go to the top of my list, some down the list, and some get eliminated.
The principal calling on my life is to help fulfill the Great Commission, and by God's grace, He has enabled me to remain focused. A chief characteristic of Campus Crusade for Christ is that we have remained focused and have not allowed ourselves to be diverted along the many possible rabbit trails that have come along to tempt us. This, too, is God's grace and protection, and a main reason the movement has exploded to 196 countries with a full-time staff of more than 27,000 and with up to 550,000 trained volunteers.
Every believer is expected to follow priorities: God first, spouse second, children third, and ministry fourth. Whether as a minister or layperson, God has called all of us to help fulfill the Great Commission.
We all should prioritize our lives in this manner, and stay focused. Then when we are on our way to our "south forty," we will not be distracted by the likes of pigs, wood piles and sick chickens in our lives.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.