I’ve been thinking a lot about “focus” of late. Focus affects every area of our lives. It controls what we do, who we get along with, what is important to us. It determines what we are willing to put more time and effort into to achieve.
A dedicated focus can help us achieve great things, and the loss of focus can cheat us of progress.
Our focus, whatever it is, determines our satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the life we have. How many times have you heard someone talk about the blessing in their life? Not often, I fear. We humans tend to focus on the negative. Most of the time we hear about the DIS-satisfaction people have experienced. The more we talk about our dissatisfaction the more it seems to be compounded and gets worse. Why is that when we get together we tend to talk about the negative and have such hard time talking about the positive around us.
I have a challenge for you – go for one day and not think or say anything negative. I’ve done it, or I should say I tried to do it. Our minds get caught up in the whirlpool of seeing the downside of things.
My friends and I call it the Eeyore syndrome. Eeyore is a little donkey in the Winnie the Pooh storybook. He ALWAYS sees the downside of life and seems incapable of thinking any other way. It is easy to be that way, its human nature to try to figure out what could go wrong so we don’t get broadsided. But, what we choose to focus on is precisely that - a choice, leading us up or spiraling us down.
There is a story that tells about two people standing on a hill; one chooses to face east where there is a dark, brooding storm on the horizon. The man signed as the wind begins to blow. He zips up his coat saying” Whew this is going to be a beauty of a night!” The other person chose to face the west where there was a beautiful sunset on the horizon. The breeze began to blow, the man smiled, and closing his eyes to enjoy the sun on his face replied: “yes it is.” Two people in the same place with two different perspectives, two different focuses. A Healthy focus -it’s our choice, not an easy one to maintain but, ours to make.
I believe God gave us minds that can choose what we focus on. The Bible gives us instruction on what will bring healthy focus into our lives. Philippians 4:8 it says
“Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure,
right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about
what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.
Maintaining a healthy, life-producing focus is tough. We must actively choose daily to focus on what is right and good and refuse to allow the Eeyore inside us to control our thoughts.
Connie Arp is the pastor at the NewLife Church in Kenai.