I have been blessed in my lifetime with good eyesight. I am 45 years old, and I have never had glasses, contacts or a monocle (you may need to look that one up). First of all, many thanks to my parents and the good ocular genes they passed down. Secondly, lest I deceive myself, or any of you, I am not without times where I need to adjust my focus. Whether or not you’ve been wearing “coke bottle glasses” since you were three years old, or you have 20/20 vision in your 80s, we all need adjustments in our focus.
It’s not just our eyes. What is the focus of our minds? What about our hearts? What is your ultimate focus here on earth?
We’ve been walking through a message series at Delaware Grace for the last two months, trying to push back against many things that steal our focus. It is so easy to be distracted in our culture. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier and better, right? I believe in many ways it has, but it has brought some unintended consequences. Radio, TV, iPods, laptops, mobile phones, and the internet have brought us news, entertainment, efficiency in work, convenience, and I’m sure many other benefits.
However, one thing they have also provided in our lives is noise. I’m not talking about only audible noise. There is mental, emotional, and spiritual noise as well as we are being bombarded, and bombarding ourselves, with information at a rate humans have never experienced before. This is not an anti-technology rant. I use all of those devices/resources I listed above, and then some. We are fooling ourselves, though, if we don’t realize some of the side effects.
Busyness has become almost a badge of honor in our society. “How are you doing?” “Staying busy.” “Yep, me too.” Have you ever had a conversation similar to that? I have. Generally what we mean by that is that we have 4,594-ish different irons in the fire. I don’t think we mean that we’re busy being solely focused on the ultimate pursuit of our lives. We mean we have to go here and then there, and do this and that. Our schedules would indicate there should be much more than 24 hours in a day. We’re tired. We’re ragged. We’re so focused on being busy, that we are indeed unfocused.
Another indicator of our propensity to be busy is silence. Many of us don’t know how to be silent. It makes us incredibly uncomfortable to just be in silence. We don’t know what to do. However, being away from the audible noise and the information overload for a time every day can help us in our focus. What is most important? What is it that God desires that I do today? It may be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it, and the benefits are out of this world!
In Matthew 6, Jesus was teaching about worry. What are we going to eat, drink, or wear? In other words…”we don’t have enough!” Jesus said to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Don’t worry. If your focus is on Jesus and not yourself, he’ll take care of everything you need. You’re tireless pursuit of being busy and accumulating more and more will diminish, and you’ll be much more focused on what is actually important. His kingdom.
This life is bigger than you and me. In fact, we’re not even the main character in our own stories. He is. How do you need to refocus your life?
May I make a suggestion? Listen to the song “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz. In it he says, “Let your weary spirit rest, lay down what’s good and find what’s best.” We think busyness is better. There’s something/someone that is best. Focus your life on what’s best.
Dave Pacheco is pastor at Delaware Grace.