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Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’


With the holidays hurtling towards us at breakneck speed, I have been thinking quite a bit about focus, about what our focus is and in the process rereading a piece by A. W. Tozer titled, “The Gaze of the Soul” found in his book, “The Pursuit of God”.

In light of these thoughts about focus and our oftentimes random, unfocused way of being – I am constantly amazed at how easily we allow ourselves to be dragged hilly-milly here and there – I am resharing my own thoughts on focus from a long ago written piece.

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Focus.

When I first had my son, I remember one bit of parenting advice among many. I don’t even know where it came from, but, it went something like this, what you focus on when parenting is what kind of parent you will become.

At the time, I took it to mean that if I focused on the things that I didn’t like about my own parents parenting then I would repeat those same things. And, if I focused on the things I thought were good about their parenting, along with those things that I thought were important about being a parent, then I would be able to work towards the goal of what I thought a decent parent was.

Focus.

In time, the idea took on a mind of its own to me. I realized that what I focused on is what I became, even if I didn’t like the focus. If my focus was uncontrolled, and, I didn’t make sure my focus was on what I respected or held dear, then I inadvertently walked in a direction that I neither liked nor felt comfortable in because those paths weren’t what I wanted. But, because my focus was not controlled, that was where I went.

We all have this focus problem that ultimately translates into a behavior problem. Even Paul himself wrote the things he wanted to do, he didn’t and the things he didn’t want to do, he did. It’s all about focus. Our hearts may be in the right place, but, if our focus is off, we have a problem.

Focus.

God is very clear about where our focus should be. On Him. All the time. Without ceasing. This isn’t for His good, (after all He is whole in who He is, He doesn’t need us to focus on Him) it is for our good, because He knows how we are. Where our focus is, there we shall merrily go, until we find out we’ve actually gone too far, don’t know where we are and in our wanderings have lost our focus. Again.

“Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad. V’ahav’ta eit Adonai Elohekha b’khol l’vav’kha uv’khol naf’sh’kha uv’khol m’odekha.”

“Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might,”

Deuteronomy 6:4-5

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Frozen meat grinder GW 300.

Image via Wikipedia

Aah that time of year has come, the holidays with their super busyness, and nonstop running.

I was talking with a friend of mine today and we were commenting about how surprised we were that Christmas time has come upon us so quickly. Of course, it seems like it comes more and more quickly every year. One day I’m sure it will feel like it hasn’t snuck up on me, but that day is not today.

As we talked, I realized that not only has it snuck up on me yet again, but I feel like I should have known that it was lying in wait all year like a leopard in a tree limb waiting patiently for the exact time to pounce on its prey. And, now its prey is looking down the time-line of the next two weeks and realizing that it’s going to be like being fed into a meat grinder. I’ll be happy to be shot out alive, if not a little chewed up, on the other side.

She and I had a good laugh about feeling like being in a meat grinder. A little later I heard myself say something to the effect that even though we may be in the middle of madness, and find ourselves in situations with people who don’t know Christ and don’t recognize what Christmas is all about, at least we know that God is there with us no matter where we are, what we’re going through or how we feel about it.

Very reassuring words that I was shocked came out of my mouth, and even more so that they’re actually worth repeating. Even though we’re going through the meat grinder, we know that He’s right there with us, we’re not going through it alone. And quite frankly, I’d rather be in the meat grinder with Him than out of the meat grinder without Him.

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalm 73:23-26

 

 

 

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