I’ve always wanted to wear glasses.
I just love the look of them; like jewelry for the face. Sadly (I say that lightly), I had great eyesight. That is, until I hit my late thirties and suddenly couldn’t see too well into the distance. It was blurry and out of focus, especially at night.
My doctor recommended a mild prescription for glasses and I gleefully joined the club. I get along well without them most days. But when I sit to watch TV with the family or drive later in the day, I’m reminded of my need for them in order to see clearly.
It’s important to have clarity of sight in order to get the complete picture and live safely.
I was reminded of this while reading through the Remarkably Vivid devotional. It’s from the May faith art box by Creative Retreat Kits (referral link) and on the topic of focus. The author, Jeremy Whigham, writes about having an eternal perspective. And on keeping our focus on Jesus, to clearly see our way, as we go about life in this world.
He reminds us that it’s easy to lose focus. Sometimes, we don’t even realize that we’ve done so! But, he encourages us to make the choice each day to focus on Jesus, if we want to walk this road with clarity and not stumble through life.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness, how deep is that darkness!Matthew 6:22-23 CSB
I took to my faith journal to note three things to focus on, based on this devotional and my recent bible studies.
The first is focus on what is good.
Think about what is positive.
whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy – dwell on these things.Philippians 4:8
We should be very critical of what we behold and take in; those things that we choose to look at and listen to. Do they have a positive impact? Or do they influence us in a negative way? If it’s the latter, then we need to edit and put aside those things that may cause us to stumble.
As it relates to the people in our lives, we should see through the lens of Christ. Focus on the good in others. See them the way that God sees them; as the people He created them to be. This will give us compassion for them and allow us to meet them where they are right now in their spiritual growth.
The second is focus on His kingdom.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.Matthew 6:33 CSB
This passage tells us to not worry or be anxious about life, and the things we need to live, because God provides for us.
Have an eternal perspective.
What we see in the distance informs the decisions we make today. So, we should take the long view. We shouldn’t be shortsighted and look only at this life right now.
When we look at our circumstances, we think of how we can improve or get out of them. We forget about God’s promise to provide all we will need to accomplish our purpose. We start to think about tomorrow and worry sets in.
This worry gives us the wrong priorities. We lose focus of our purpose and choose to pursue materials things to provide for ourselves. We become enslaved in the process of wanting more, and ultimately become unavailable to do what He called us to.
Practically, let’s look at the things we’re seeking and ask if they are needs or wants. Let’s look at our schedules and reassess our priorities. Ask: are they in line with our purpose?
The third point is focus on Jesus.
Fix our eyes on Him as we run this race of faith.
Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1-2 CSB
Not only should we imitate His character, we should follow His example. Follow His example in living like He did; in prioritizing the kingdom of God; and in serving others in obedience of, and in fellowship with, the Father.
We will face hardships; that’s for certain. But we can endure them, by His strength, as we look past the hardship to what lies ahead. When we look to Jesus, we remember that we are victorious because He has conquered the world. We know that He’s already made a way.
What/who are you focused on? How will you realign your gaze?
Joy & Peace, Sister!