Focus in Life

focus_inschool
Did you ever consider that it is impossible to focus on two points at the same time? If you put your hand up in front of your face and try to focus on it and whatever is in the background it is impossible. You can notice what is generally there, but it will not be in focus. I think this is an amazing thing that God instilled in us as human beings. Not because of the physical ability of the eyes but because it is an example that translates into life in general.

What is your life focused on? Maybe you are focused on your career and ambition to be the best in your field. Is it focused on temporary things like the newest smartphone, a new car, bigger house or even just money? Maybe your total and complete focus is on your family or friends and making them the highest priority.

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things but the advantage in life comes from keeping a focus on Jesus and knowing that he is taking care of all those other things in the background. This is not saying that you can be lazy in your vocation, that you don’t need money to pay bills, a form of transportation, a way to communicate with people or that family and friends can be ignored.

The supernatural element of being a true follower of Christ and his teachings in the Bible is that when you put God first in everything and keep your focus on Him, all of your needs are met and all the people in your life get the BEST version of you.

A couple of GREAT scriptures to keep in mind about the focus of your mind and the power of the Bible!

Isaiah 26:4 – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Focus in life can be evaluated on a few levels. What do you spend the most time thinking about? When you are alone with your thoughts and nothing is pressing on you, what is the first thing you think about? If you are naturally a worrier (as I am, but I am working on this area of my life) then the things you worry about are probably things that you think personal actions can change or control.

One of the MOST important things I stress in my Holy Crap book is that the “control” we feel in life is a myth. The only thing we have control of in life is how we spend our time. Spend it focusing on Jesus and everything else will be taken care of! Today, do a “focus evaluation” and consider some changes in life and this coming new year.

 

 

A Life Lesson from a Piece of Pyrex

Pyrex-measuring-cup
So this is the last day of 2015. So many people reflecting back on the past year and what they felt like they learned and making promises to make changes next year and hopefully planning a better outcome in all areas of life.

Something happened this am that was a perfect ending to my year yet was so simple and profound to me. I was getting my day started and prepping a chai to warm up in the microwave. I normally pour everything into a glass-measuring cup, put it in the microwave, take it out and then that is where the challenges begin. EVERY SINGLE TIME since I have been using this process to make my chai I end up pouring about 1/3 of my warmed drink into the sink instead of my cup because of, what I viewed, as a defect in the lip of the glass container. Today though, I thought to myself, “what if I poured it slower than my usual I-am-in-a-hurry light speed way?” I did and the glass container worked brilliantly!

Now you are thinking, “Wow. That is about 3 minutes of reading this blog that I will never get back” but there are three important end-of-year lessons in this illustration.

1. I was accusing the glass-measuring cup of being defective versus taking responsibility for my pouring action.

As you reflect back on 2015, where there things that happened that you blamed someone or something else instead of considering if it was something YOU were doing? When we have challenges in life, we need to ALWAYS start with our actions and how they may have played into making a situation better or worse. If we don’t, we may be blaming other people or situations on our own mistakes.

2. Pouring my drink slower allowed for the glass container to work properly.

How many times in my relationship with God do I think or maybe even say, “do it in my time and not yours, God.” When we put God in control of our life, we put our life on HIS timetable. When we try and “get” God to do things faster than he wants them done, we either miss the things along the way we are supposed to learn or move on our own inadequate power to get things done in life instead of letting God’s power and ability perfect everything. This new year, stop asking God WHEN is this going to happen and start to say WHAT are you trying to teach me through it.

3. I will now, NEVER use that glass-measuring cup incorrectly again because I saw how well it worked when I did it right.

In life, the best version of yourself comes from learning from mistakes, or being corrected from others in life, including God. When we think everything we do every time is correct and there is no room for error or for an ability to get better at living life, then we will live a very shallow incomplete version of ourselves and far below the ability that God sees in us. Let 2016 be a year of correction. I know that doesn’t sound like a fun objective or something to shoot for. When we realize that life is made up of mistakes then we can focus on the speed of correction in life instead of thinking that a lack of experiencing correction was a successful year. The greatest things you have ever learned in life have probably not come from doing things right but making a mistake, learning from it and appreciating the lesson.

I am praying and believing that this new year is going to be the best one yet and that we all are in a mode of listening and learning even from the most simple things in life. God bless you and have a wonderful 2016!