“Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed.” These were the words Neil Armstrong sent from the Apollo 11 lunar module Eagle after landing the craft on the surface of the moon. That event and those words are a part of history from July 20, 1969. Fifty years ago.
Last night driving home from mid-week Bible Study I had to come to a complete stop a block from my house because an owl refused to yield the road to our Chevrolet. I stopped, my lights straight on him. Yet, he sat there his eyes fixated on the prey on the road at his feet.
Two seemingly unrelated events separated by 50 years and 4 days. Two events that have something in common. Yes, I was alive for both events. I was too young to have knowledge of the first. That is not what they have in common. Armstrong references an eagle landing and the owl had landed on the road, but that is not similar enough to say that is what they have in common. What they have in common is FOCUS.
Earlier in the 1960’s President Kennedy proclaimed a space race. The United States and Russia were both headed to the moon. President Kennedy determined that The United States was going to win that race. Russia would take the early lead in getting to space, but we would win the race by landing on and setting foot on the moon. How? Focus! Our scientists, dreamers, engineers of different disciplines, mathematicians, and politicians turned their attention, their focus, on reaching the moon. The attempts and ultimate success captured the attention of the citizens of the Unites States. One nation focused on one result and we did it.
Last night, the owl sat focused on his prey. He seemed unaware or unconcerned with the danger Amy and I posed to him. We sat there for a full minute, maybe two, with my lights on him and his prey (I think it was a mouse). He watch the prey trying to decide whether to eat it or toy with it some more. The owl was singularly focused and did not acknowledge the presence of our Chevrolet, until I backed up to go around him. Only then did he look at us and fly to the side of the road. Even then he kept his eye on his prey. A predator focused on a meal.
The lesson that is common to both events reminds me the importance of what I place in front of me. What is the focus of my life? The psalmist reminds us of the importance of focusing on God and what is good.
“I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.” (Psalms 101:1-4)
What are you focused on?