“I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.” Ne 6:3 NIV
When it came to rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah discovered that not everyone around him wanted him to succeed. To stop the work, his enemies used two things—threats and rumors. Nevertheless he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in less than two months. How did he do it? He stayed focused on what mattered and refused to be distracted. “They were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: ‘I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?’ Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer” (vv. 2-4 NIV). In the parlance of today, they emailed him. They tagged him with tweets. They left messages on his mobile device. Over and over they tried to distract and detour him with dialogue. But he refused to fight. His voicemail greeting sounded something like this: “You have reached the home of Nehemiah. I’m not here. I’m carrying on a great project right now. If this is Sanballat, Tobiah, or Geshem, you’re wasting your time. If it’s anybody else, please leave a message after the beep.” When you decide what your life’s priorities are, they will help you decide everything else. They will help you keep your eye on the ball. When life seems to be against you, ask yourself, “What are my biggest priorities for this day? For this week?” Settle those in your mind and be laser-beam focused on them as you pursue the assignment God has given you.