Sunday, August 31, 2014

What It Takes To Focus

My mornings are already missing the sound of birds, the ones I called mine, who came calling all summer just outside my window. How do they just know when to pack up their feathers and fly? They didn't even let my premium bird feed and darling bird-feeder distract them from what they are most deeply designed to do.

The air has lost its heaviness too, even in the heat of the day.  And when I walk in the morning I pull on a sweatshirt, though the last days of August lingered warm in the afternoon.

Then, September comes waltzing in today, singing to the tune of cicadas, humming from the top of the maple tree.

And it's a holiday. 

An extra day we are given in America, so we can pause from labor. That should add some margin to our life right?

Does that ever really happen when the garden is overrunning with weeds and tomatoes? When the grass is long? When the laundry is stacked high along with the dishes? When there are people who need a meal, or a hand or a heart to just stop long enough to really hear what their beating heart longs to say.

We all fight it don't we?

Some weeks and days and moments, more than others.

This thing of how to focus.

The word focus has its roots in a Latin word that means, fire. Used in photography, focus, is the point in which any number of rays of light meet.


Light rays intersecting at a certain point.

Those are great visuals.

In this world, there is so much darkness, shades of grey, and people whose songs are blue. How do we stay focused on what is really important, when we're running ragged and weary and empty?

It's proven that people who multitask are just kidding themselves about how much they are accomplishing.

My husband is relieved and when I slip into that mode, he reminds me.

I need reminding, and I need to figure out what is paramount, or I will miss what God really has for me.

It is a fact, that you cannot walk a straight line, without a fixed point to follow.

Now I realize that our life-paths are not a straight line, but the you can understand the visual lesson. 

Jesus is the fixed point. 

In this life, I have lived long enough to tell you a lot, about what-not-to-do.

I have focused on getting to church, but passed by those who could have used me to be the church, to their current need. 

I have focused on my children, which is all important and good, but neglected a greater thing they needed to see.....  which was for me to really love my husband. 

I've focused on the news and the overwhelming weight of the whole-wide-world and missed the neighbor across the street who needed me to reach out and help them. Today.

Even though I don't have time to read them, there are neuroscientists writing entire books, on the real cost of distraction in the world.

All the technology, the noise, the goals, the lists.

They point out that all of our connectiveness has actually caused a disconnect.

These good things sap us of our energy to do the things we really need high-energy to do.

There are studies proving that our lack of focus is attributing to lack of self-control, poor grades and low job performance.

It is all blamed on not being able to focus.

The scientists have all sorts of great ideas how to make a shift, from all they see being the problem with lack of focus in our world. 

They say we need to get quiet. 

That we need to be mindful, not mindless. 

Science is proving what the Bible has said all along. 

Every single day, the world will always be full of crushing news, endless needs and things that pull on our heart. 

But it does not help anyone when I focus on the noise instead of God first.

It only saps my energy and resources and time. 

This last week I came back to the Center, the Cornerstone, to the point of real Light.

I turned off all the social media. I got quiet. And I remembered what I already knew.

Spending time with Jesus is the most important thing I will do on any day.

Every other choice and decision will have more clarity and impact because of it. 

You and I, we want to do some things that other people are too afraid to get out of the boat and try, don't we?

We have to focus on Jesus, or sink in our attempts to do it by ourselves. 

The problem in not how to focus, but on Who we focus.

This week will you join me? 

Turn off the noise. 

Sign out of your computer, facebook account, phone, get off of the trending news feeds. 

Breath deep.

Sip some of real life slowly.

Center all of our attention, on the One who knows the beginning from the very end, and has amazing plans for our lives.

He is waiting. 

The world will still be there when we return.

Perhaps, we will be able to hear the real melody of our life in the right-now moments.

Because right now is what counts and these moments will soon be the past.

 May our eyes see with deeper clarity and our hearts pump with compassion and purpose.

The One is who is light, the One who has no darkness in Him, He is the Center focus, through which all our things should intersect.  


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© Rhonda Quaney