The word of the day is concentration.

When your mind focuses on the task at hand. When your attention is on the activity, not distracted by fleeting thoughts.

I watched Liverpool and Bournemouth in the English Premier League (football/soccer) Saturday. The week before Liverpool completely outplayed its rival Manchester United 7-0. Saturday they lost to lowly Bournemouth 0-1. One of the best wings in the league passed the ball directly to an opponent three times in the first 10 minutes. One of the best goal scorers in the league missed a penalty. As we would say in the US, he didn’t even kick it in the same zip code as the goal.

They played without concentration. We can’t look into other people’s minds, but we can see their actions. They played as if their minds were at the beach.

I began to think on this phenomenon. How often is our attention on the task at hand? When we are engaged with our spiritual practices, where is our concentration? Our attention? Our focus?

How much does my mind drift from the words on the page when I am studying? When I am engaged in a service to someone or even a “random act of kindness”, am I concentrating on the person whom I am serving? When I am at worship, am I thinking about where I’m going afterwards?

Champions bring their concentration to the game every game.

Should we do no less?

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