This meant we could not read the sermon notes on the screen.
The pastor took it in stride and preached his sermon from the Bible and his notes.
Just clarity and focus on the message.
The message was great (Ephesians 6:10-24) but that's not what this blog topic is about. (Perhaps, another time.)
I want to talk about the power of focus and how for some of us, myself included, we sometimes allow technology to distract us from our purpose.
You see, if the projector had worked this morning, I would have stared at the study notes on the screen, along with everyone else. I might have seen the tool but I might have missed the message. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against technology or projectors in church - I have two in my office that I use often. I just realized today, however, that I could easily allow the technology, wonderful as it is, to distract me from something bigger. Let me give you an analogy: If a craftsman spent too much time staring at his tools, he wouldn't get anything done. Yet, sometimes, we do that in our work and in our lives. We spend so much time setting up or using the tools that we allow the tools, in this case the technology, to blur our vision - the things we say represent what's most important to us.
With the projectors out of order, there was no point in keeping the projection screen down, so a button was pressed and the screen retracted revealing the windows of the church in the shape of a cross.
It was a beautiful sight.
Through the window I could see the sky and the snow-capped mountains in the background and the pine trees in the foreground. Truly magnificent. (After church, I quickly ran home to return with my camera to capture the scene above. My poor photo skills don't do the scene justice.)
You see, for the Romans, the cross represented the ultimate torture device. For Christians, however, the cross has come to represent much more, it remind us that God loved us - you and me - so much that he would offer His Son, freely, that we might be reconciled to him and have eternal and abundant life. Yet, this powerful symbol of vision and focus had been hidden... behind a projection screen.
I wonder how many times this happens in our daily lives... when something obscures our focus on what we say is most important to us?
How will this affect the rest of my day?
For starters, as soon as I publish this blog entry, I'm pulling the ethernet cable from my laptop. The only reason I'm not shutting of the computer altogether is that I'm going to take the next several hours to review our family mission statement and refocus on my vision, (which I do using mind mapping tools). I realized this morning that I've been so busy lately that I've been distracted from my vision. Life has been so full of opportunities that I've had to focus on technology and strategy just to keep up. For a time, at least, these had taken the place of vision.
Perhaps you've experienced this too?
This past week, Michael Hyatt blogged about why vision is more important than strategy. Michael shares from his own experience how he learned that having a clear vision helped him attract the right strategy. Michael offers some tips on how to get clear on your vision. I had already decided to take some time off to do this. This morning strengthened my resolve. My next post will be about my experience with this process.
Looking at the subject of this blog, I realize that I wandered a bit. I guess the point I really wanted to make was about the importance - emotionally, professionally, and spiritually - of having a sound vision and not allowing things to distract you from it, certainly not technology. For a "technologist," like me, that's an easy trap to fall into.