Divine Audacity by Linda Martella-Whitsett

Divine Audacity by Linda Martella-Whitsett

Author:Linda Martella-Whitsett
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781612833309
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.


A fan of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, I marveled during the 2012 NBA Western Conference finals at how suddenly the game can change. Repeatedly during the series between the Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder, one team would go on a run, succeeding at both ends of the court, dazzling fans with their speed and team play, and rapidly outscoring their opponents. Out of nowhere, in the blink of an eye, the energy of the game would shift as the opposing team swallowed up their contender's lead. It happened again in the 2013 Western Conference finals when the Spurs bested the Memphis Grizzlies, and the NBA finals when the Miami Heat took the championship. Thrilling basketball! Metaphysician that I am, I curiously considered the phenomenon in view of our spiritual abilities. Whenever a team member heightened his concentration, the intensifying effect of his focus spread through the team, not verbally but vibrationally. We can, by harnessing our concentration ability, turn our inner defeatism toward optimism.

Concentration is the opposite of and antidote for multitasking, with its false promise of increasing achievement. We cannot multitask; we can only focus on one thing at a time. Attempts to multitask lead to rapid switching from one focus to another, reducing our attention on anything and diminishing the quality of our focus. Our concentration ability is the power of single-mindedness. Concentration intensifies thought the way a laser intensifies light.

Researchers studying intelligence discovered that memory is less a factor in intelligence than “one's ability to control their selective attention” (www.howtogetfocused.com). Upon what, then, should we focus? David Eagleman, in his book Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, stresses that concentration is tricky: hyper-focus on our actions actually diminishes our capacity to achieve. For example, as I discovered years ago taking timed typing tests for clerical assignments, our attention on every finger position on a keyboard greatly reduces our speed and increases our errors. In recent years, San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan improved his shooting from the foul line. His previous record at the line was pitiful in comparison to his true shooting ability. I would watch, squirming, as Tim would position himself at the line, take several breaths and phantom shots, and then stiffly raise his arms, let go, and hope the ball made it through the hoop. Most of the time, it did not due to Tim's hyper-focus on each of the postures and movements required for successful shooting—a complex series that, after training, must come seamlessly.

What, then, is the object of our focus? I believe Jesus' apostle Paul taught us in these words: “Finally, brothers [and sisters], whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). Each of “these things” points to an ideal found only in our truest Self, our Infinite Self, the source of which is divine—divine honor, divine justice, divine love.


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