Monday, May 2, 2011

The Importance of Focus

Oftentimes, there's so much going on in our lives, it's easy to become overwhelmed.  Or focused on the negative things in life.  God convicted me of this a while ago through a letter.  To remember what He said, I wrote it in a devotion.

 The Importance of Focus
Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. (Phil. 3:13-14 The Message)
I opened a quarterly e-mail today from my investment company. The first line really caught my attention, not because of its content, but rather its significance.
Don't let this 90-day report affect your long-term goals
“The first thing you'll look for when you open your quarterly statements is whether your investments are up or down. If you find a significant change in the value of your investments, it's going to mess with your head.”
I stopped right there. Wow! What a thought. How many times did I do that with other things in my life? The long commute to work, frequent interruptions, laundry that still hasn’t been done. Any of these can get me worked up. ‘


When I focus on those, they can mess with my head too. And inevitably I fail to notice the blessings God has given me—waking up in a comfortable home, having enough food to eat, and having family and friends who love me.

It’s not just the little things that can do that to us though. Occasionally life throws some real curve balls at us. It’s only natural, normal, and legitimate to become upset or worried. Some might wonder whether we were in touch with reality if we didn’t. Issues like serious health problems, threats of foreclosure, or never-ending family conflicts are significant problems. Surely we aren’t supposed to just ignore all this, are we? Of course not.

Paul lived through some horrendous experiences—shipwrecks, floggings, hunger and thirst for days on end. Yet, he persevered in his faith and service to God. So how did he do it? What was his secret? 

My guess is that it was his focus. Despite his circumstances, he kept his eye on what God had called him to, remembering what God had done for him in the past.

Yet, it’s so easy to forget all those things as we go about our days. Maybe we don’t actually forget. We just push them to the back of our minds as life happens. Perhaps that’s why it’s so important to keep going back to God throughout the day, so He can remind us of Who He is, and that He’s faithful to care for us as His children. 

2 comments:

Cynthia Owens said...

Ellen,
Thanks for the reminder. It's so easy to get distracted throughout the day or to forget when new troubles come along how God has helped in the past.

Ellen Andersen said...

Sure is. I sure am glad for friends who point me back in the right direction.