5 After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me. 1 Corinthians 16:5-9
Even though Paul probably made a lot of enemies along the way because he was such a strong personality, he probably made lifelong friends wherever he went. As a visionary, he was singularly focused on the spread of the Gospel and the growth of the Church. Even as he told the Corinthians that he’d be with them he was looking ahead.
A number of years ago my mother was visiting me and went to church with me. The church was pastored by a fairly famous regional evangelist. My mother noted that as he shook her hand, he was looking behind her to see who was next. At the time he was not focused on the here and now. (Later I was in a men’s retreat setting with this same evangelist where he was keenly focused on the here and now).
So even though Paul built relationships where he went, it was for a purpose: to further the Gospel.
As the world speeds past us each day, it’s easy to lose focus. As the year winds down, begin to set your focus again. First you have to define the focus, and that’s not always easy.