Recently we made a 2000 mile RV-trip from Nebraska through Utah & Colorado and back again. It was an amazing trip with beautiful scenery and good – no – good does not describe it. It was an absolutely wonderfully incredible family fun. That’s closer! I drove the RV most of the time. It is a 35 foot house on wheels. We also pulled our mini-van behind. So, it made the length about 62 feet. With that length and width, not only do you feel like you are taking up the entire road but you also feel the responsibility to stay “within the lines” b/c you take up the entire space between the lines. Well, maybe that is just me? Anyway, as I am driving, on the dash there is a rear camera monitor. This monitor is so you can see when backing up but it also allowed me to watch the van while I was driving to make sure nothing was wrong with it. As I drove, I noticed something: As semi-trucks passed me, if I focused on them, I would have a tendency to go towards them which made me seem even more close to hitting them that it already felt. As I looked into the rear-camera to make sure the van was going toward the semi-truck, I would inevitably go towards the semi-truck. However, if I would focus on the road, I would keep the RV in the middle and at a safe distance from the semi-truck. As I did this a few times, it was like the Holy Spirit whispered a truth to my spirit: this is what you (and many others) do spiritually/mentally/emotionally as well. Your focus is “off” and thus you go towards something that is of lesser value. Spiritually, we have no idea who God is or who we are. Mentally, we are anxious and tired. Emotionally, we are void – unable to be loved or love. Where is our focus because what we focus on truly does dictate our thoughts and many times, actions as well.
Another practical example: Even this morning as I went for a run, I noticed this truth play out. I was running on a dark trail and, of course, my mind starts focusing on the ‘way too many scary movies’ I have seen. My heart quickened and my pace picked up. Then I realized I was letting fear get the best of me. I looked up at the millions of stars and started praying & thanking God for the beauty around me and the ability to run. Almost immediately, my heart slowed and my pace became normal again. My focused shifted and thus I shifted.
Think about it: We all know “those people” who seem so unhappy – so negative – so annoying – so (add what adjective you would like). You ever wonder what they are focusing on? Are they focusing on how much money they do not have? Are they focusing on all that is wrong with their bosses? Are they focusing on the nightly news? Are they focusing on how their favorite football team let them down? Are they focusing on the “I can nots” of their day? Could it be possible that you are one of “those people?” Truly, what do you focus on? Is it something/someone that lifts your spirits – makes you smile – puts a pep in your step. You know this person right? That person that always seems to be happy – that person that is always giving – that person that seems to focus on others….let’s be honest: “those people” aggravate us just as much or if not more that the other “those people.” Why? Because we wonder where their deep sense of satisfaction with life comes from. Could it be they have a focus towards something that is of eternal significance and that is what they are going towards? Hmmmm, maybe, just maybe, they understand the ramifications of these verses: “…set your mind on things above, not on earthy things…do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…I focus on the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…” (Col. 3:2, Rom. 12:2, Philip. 3:14) Today, what will you focus on and where will it take you?
Prayer: Jesus, I thank you that you focus on me. I thank you that you find me valuable. Today, I set my mind on things above. I choose not to conform to the pattern of this world but rather, I will renew my mind with your good news. Today, I focus – I press on toward the goal of intimacy with you.