It is said of Kobe Bryant that he was one of the most lethal guards ever to play basketball. Perhaps this is why Kobe chose the black mamba snake as his alter ego. It is Africa’s longest and the world’s fastest snake as well as being extremely venomous. Nothing was going to get in the way or stop Kobe from reaching his goals. He had a singular focus to attack those goals. Ironically, Bryant’s words after his final NBA game were , “Mamba out.” What a shame to have left this life so early.
Today’s verse describes the mindset of Paul. He writes these words from house arrest, not knowing what his future may be. He longs to be freed from not only his physical chains but the restraints of his earthly life, affirming that being with Christ is far better (verse 23). For Paul, the issue was not life or death but the realization of his goal, that Christ would be exalted through him (verse 20). He had a singular focus that marked his life and affected others, both in his day and currently.
I would love to have that kind of focus. My eyes are not always fixed on my Sovereign Lord (Psalm 141:8). I am so easily distracted by the mundane or the routine. But when my focus is on living for Him, I not only feel His pleasure but my day takes on wonderful purpose! There is not a worthier goal out there than to live the life my Creator has planned for me. Living is Christ. Dying is Christ. I have in fact already died and my life is hidden in Him (Col. 3:3).
Lord, keep my focus on You today!