Sunday, January 26, 2014

What's Your Focus?

This sign hangs outside the door to my daughter's house -

You see, my daughter has 7 children, yes, you read that right - 7 children.  Their ages are - an almost 16-yr-old, 14 1/2, 13, an almost 12-yr-old, 10 1/2, and the twins are 8 1/2!!!  To say that her house is busy would be an understatement!!  They are really good kids, but based on sheer numbers alone, the house is pretty noisy at all times!!
When I took the picture of this sign, I thought to myself, there's a story in here somewhere.
When most people approach a home that is unfamiliar to them and they see a dog, they are a little apprehensive, not knowing what the dog is like.  But most people don't approach an unfamiliar home contemplating whether or not the children could be dangerous, right??!!
So, this sign is telling you that you don't have to worry about the dog (he's an Icelandic Sheep dog, by the way, and very friendly, wouldn't hurt a flea), but you'd better be cautious around the children!!!

I was thinking of this in terms of how we sometimes approach life, or a problem in life, like that.  We are very focused on a certain thing, never thinking that another thing should be the object of our focus.  We put our focus in the wrong place.  We worry about the wrong thing; we give all our time and energy to the wrong focus.
Example - a husband may be so focused on providing for his family, wanting to give them all they need and even some extras, that he ends up spending so much time and energy at work and has little left for his family.   He never sees that all they really need and want is his actual, physical presence with them!!
I remember when Phil was sick.  There was so much involved with his care when he came home from the hospital - I had to change his drainage bag, hook him up to the feeding tube and IV, give him shots, take his temperature, keep accurate records of all his stats, etc., so I was always on the move, doing "this and that" for him.  One day, as I was quickly passing by his chair on a mission, he gently grabbed my arm and said, "Look at me.  I love you, thank you for taking care of me.  Can I have a kiss?"  In that moment, I realized I was so focused on taking care of him, that I wasn't actually SEEing him.
Forget the tasks
Beware of what you're missing!!
Forget the future
Beware of what is here right now!!
We charge through life so focused on our "To Do" list, that we often don't even see the people we pass by every day, even and maybe especially, the members of our own family!!
Are you so afraid of what's going to happen tomorrow, that you don't see the missed opportunity of today?
My husband spent the last 5 years of his life worrying that he would be laid off from his job before he reached retirement age, and guess what, he didn't even live to reach retirement age!
Are you fearing you will be laid off from your job, when what you should be focusing on is doing your best in that job "as unto the Lord" and trusting Him with the rest.
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:27, 34
Our focus needs to always be on the Lord.  Only He knows what the future holds.  Only He can take care of the cares of tomorrow.  Our focus needs to be in the here and now.
We need to be abiding in the Lord; constantly aware of His presence and His care for us.  Scripture also tells us that He cares for the sparrow, how much more will He take care of us!
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?"
Matthew 6:26
Our Father knows we need food and clothes and shelter, but He doesn't want us to lose perspective in our pursuit of these things.
"...your heavenly Father knows that you need them."
Matthew 6:32b
He tells us our focus shouldn't be on providing those things, instead -
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
Matthew 6:33
If you have time, read Matthew 6:25-34.  It points us to our true focus - the kingdom of God.  It speaks to us about TRUST - trusting Him for all those things we need in this life and yes, God often even blesses us with those things we desire as we seek to live for Him.

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