What is Your Focus On?
I just finished a pretty grueling work out, at least for me. You know the kind, when you go through the whole water bottle and your hair is pulled up, looking like a bird’s nest. After the work out, I had stuff to do but I had those few annoying bangs that kept brushing into my eyes. I kept flicking my head to get them away or using my hand to try to keep them away but surprise, surprise, they kept coming back to annoy me. It would have been easy to simply find a bobby pin to keep them out of my face. Goodness, there was probably one on the floor if I looked hard enough – I know there were plenty in my room, the bathroom, and my purse – all organized and ready to be grabbed at any moment. So, why didn’t I just do it? Maybe it was part laziness. Maybe it was that I was really into what I was doing at the time, even though when the bangs dropped into my eyes, they made everything hard to see and fuzzy. And maybe it was partly that I liked the look – it said, yes, I worked out and will probably be sore tomorrow. If I saw someone else like that, I would think, go find a bobby pin already, those bangs have got to be annoying!
That got me thinking about the condition of our sinful nature, how there are some sins that are can be easily to given up to God but we still flaunt them around, even as they skew our focus.
The other week, I was talking to my friend, who is a wise, Godly woman and keeps me in check. I was bemoaning the fact that I had so much going for me early in life and then Life happened and all my hopes and dreams just scattered in the wind. I praise God for her because she reminded that I was basing my life on worldly things - ideas, dreams, the could-haves and should-haves instead of on God and what He has done for me. Like God’s Word says in Matthew 6:33:
“Seek first the Kingdom of God…”
I am only using the first five words because that’s really all that matters. Seek first the Kingdom of God. We should have our minds focused on the heavenly things. But here I was, having a pity party focusing on the what-ifs of the worldly things, the prideful things. I was, in a way, blaming God for where I was instead of where I wanted to be. It wasn’t until I talked with my friend that I realized I was flaunting around who I was and who I could have been before Life "stole" certain things from me (according to me!).
I could have done a checklist of my life on that particular week and lined it up with the Beatitudes but probably wouldn’t have felt very blessed.
Did you know that the word “beatitudes” doesn’t just mean blessed, it means “supreme blessedness”? My friend was correct, I wasn’t focusing on God, I was focused on myself and the world around me. I wanted people to know who I am now - the person with a bright worldly future - but the person they saw isn’t the person I thought I would be.
Instead, my life is better for I am in a state of supreme blessedness because God is always doing a work in me and will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6) even when I am unfaithful. He is teaching me and molding me when I am “poor in spirit, in mourning, meek, when I hunger and thirst for righteousness, when I am merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, and even when I am persecuted” (Matthew 5:3–10).
What was so crazy about that week and needing that reminder, aka slap in the spiritual face, was that I love God and have been growing in Him since coming to love Him. But occasionally, like all believers, my focus on the Lord and the Kingdom of God becomes blurry, like it did during that week. I praise God for fellow believers to speak truth into my life and most importantly, for His word, which always bring me back into focus.