I was one of the men assigned to handle the six inch (diameter) water hose as part of the fire-fighting team on board the USS WALLER, a Navy Destroyer in the mid 60’s. When you run water through a six inch fire hose you get a great volume of water and it has great potential. At sea, we suck the salt water up out of the ocean for that purpose. But there were three different settings on the fire hose nozzle. When you shift it from fog or spray to stream (I think the three settings were fog, spray and stream – stream was finely focused) you get a lot of force and a longer range and the ability to put the water exactly where you need it at any given time. Water that focused and directed has great impact. You can feel the recoil in the hose and it takes four men to keep the hose from shooting out of control and waving about dangerously. (This picture shows civilian fire fighters putting out a shipboard fire from the piers at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. Go to www.chucklarsen.com)

It seems like I have times in my life when my life is set on fog, spray or stream. When it’s on stream is when I seem to get things done. I need to focus my life on a particular goal and aim carefully and put all my energy on getting that thing accomplished. Our lives can really have an impact when it’s finely focused. I think God created each of us for a life that makes that kind of impact. We have all been shaped and positioned by God Himself to make a contribution for the Kingdom. Paul says clearly in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

How do you discover what those “good works” are supposed to be? With all of the options for significant ministry, how do you discover nozzle-like focus for your life and ministry? To me, this entailed wrestling with three major questions. First, why do I exist? I want to know what God’s purpose for my life should be. If we believe the Bible each of us have been created for the same purpose; to make disciples. If you come to grips with that purpose and embrace it, you are beginning to focus your life. I’d say when we answer that question we’ve been set to “fog.” We need more focus than that. The next question is how has God shaped me? What do I do well? What am I successful at? What do I enjoy doing? This requires more reflection. When I come to grips with my “S” Spiritual gifts, “H” heart (or passions in life), “A” abilities that God has given me, “P” the personality through which those things or channeled, and “E” the experiences that God has brought into my life we move from fog to spray. But to get it really fine-tuned we need to answer the third question: What is God calling me to accomplish? Take some time to think about that!

“So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18