Are you lost in the busyness of life? Do you have goals and tasks to keep you on track? But instead of keeping you focused, they have you all over the place. They become a constant reminder of how much you have to do and how much of that you haven’t done.
People are expecting things from you. Some are expecting you to succeed, and some are just waiting for you to fail. It’s all you can do to just tread water. And so, you stay in the proverbial hamster wheel and run yourself slap out of steam. You begin to doubt if you were meant to do this thing or not, because if you were, there’s no way it would be this hard, right?
Truth: God never said it would be easy.
In fact, He promised quite the opposite. Thankfully, though, the one thing He did promise is that He would never leave us.
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
In our trials and suffering and even our everyday humdrum or daily mayhem, He is there. Be that as it may, I often let these things draw my focus away. Have you ever tried to do something you knew you were supposed to do, but you had your focus all wrong? Maybe you focused more on the thing than the One who led you to do the thing. I know I have. Often, I find myself in that place.
Losing sight of what’s really important
If I were a betting woman, I’d bet you have this same trouble from time to time. We lose sight of what’s really important and the things that really matter. Take this holiday season, for example.
We get caught up in planning our Thanksgiving feast, cleaning our house to make it welcoming, and trying to come up with some sort of decorations on our tight budgets. So caught up, in fact, that we lose sight of what we are really giving thanks for. Our focus has become a meal, a clean house, beautiful decorations, rather than thankfulness for provisions, family, and friends. Instead of focusing on what we have, we are frustrated that the turkey is dry, a kid has spilled cranberry sauce on the floor, and someone forgot to clean the toilet. We’ve allowed ourselves to become distracted by things that do not matter. [I’m raising my hand because I’m guilty.]
The Christmas season jump starts this evening. Folks all over the country will be losing their focus and their minds trying to find the perfect gift at a great price. Listen, if you are a Black Friday shopper, no judgement, but this chick…she ain’t fightin’ you for the last Teddy Ruxpin. I’ll be sitting in my warm house, waiting for the online Black Friday sale or for Cyber Monday specials.
Perhaps we’ve resolved to scale Christmas back this year, but when we see all the wonderful things on sale brightly packaged and so carefully marketed, our focus wanes. Mine sure does. I see things that my kids would love, and I justify my purchases, telling myself that it’s Christmas for goodness sake!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
I want to challenge us all to keep our focus this season. My desire for myself and my family is to keep my eye on Him to whom all thanks is due even if I burn the turkey. And I desire to keep Jesus the focus of the Christmas season, not allowing myself to become distracted by all the pretty things. For that matter, my prayer for us all is that in all life we remain focused on the one true Prize, the Treasure in the the field, our Jesus.
I love old hymns. They take me to a place in my childhood, but more importantly, they always point us to God: his grace and mercy; his love and kindness; his sacrifice and redemption of sinners. One of my all time favorites is “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”
[clickToTweet tweet=”…and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.'” quote=”…and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.'” theme=”style2″]
When we turn to Jesus, look fully at Him, not being distracted by the things around us and not being pulled in different directions, it all fades.
Bringing back our focus.
It’s so easy to lose focus and get distracted. When you find yourself in that place, go back to the place where you can see Him.
First, slow down. Take the time to enjoy the people and wonderful things right around you. Breathe deeply and be thankful.
Secondly, go to God’s Word. Read the Psalms and let Him calm your rushed and hurried spirit. It’s amazing the gems you will find in the Psalms. You’ll see that David, one of the greatest men to ever live, lost sight and needed to refocus.
Next, find some good praise and worship music or hymns. Music speaks to me, and most likely it does you, too. Here are some of my favorites:
|King of My Heart||Sovereign Over Us|
|Though You Slay Me||What a Beautiful Name|
|Shoulders||Give Me Jesus|
|No Longer Slaves||Never Been a Moment|
|Lord, I Need You||Death Was Arrested|
And finally, go back to a time when you know the Lord called you. For me, a time I know without a doubt God called was when we were called to homeschool. I can tell you the time and place when God spoke to me; it was in a graveyard. When things get hairy, and they often do, I have to go back to that day and remind myself that, yes, I was indeed called to this.
My prayer for us:
Lord, let it be that we look at you and keep our blinders on. Help us to seek you and remember what we are here for. There will always be prettier and bigger and better things, but nothing can compare to your glory. Keep that ever on our hearts. When we do get distracted and lost in all the stuff and yuck of life, set us back right so that we can see you and focus on you once more.
Be blessed this season, dear ones! If we focus on Jesus, I have no doubt we will be blessed more than we could ever think or imagine!
Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas!