I’m a crazy walker. When I go out for a walk, or even when I add in a run, I always look down. What am I looking at? I don’t get it. Am I afraid if I don’t look at my feet they won’t move right? Or is the sidewalk just so beautiful I need to keep my eye on it?
I tell myself, “Pick your head up! You look goofy. Look up and see the beauty around you. You’re missing out!” Yeah. I will pick my head up…my thoughts center on the beauty in the sky and trees. I get lost in thought—maybe even whisper a little prayer. And, then, “Look at those feet walking. Look at that sidewalk. Yep, they’re still there.”
For goodness sake! I just don’t get it. This is a problem, I do believe. I’m missing out. Even when I have a walking buddy I do it. Before I know it, I’m focusing on the road right in front of me, instead of seeing all that is around me. They have been kind enough to just ignore it!
This has gotten me to thinking.
In life, what am I focusing on?
Am I focusing on the challenges and tough-going I have experienced? Am I looking at the past and wishing circumstances had been different or I had been dealt a better hand?
Where is my focus?
Perhaps I am focusing on how I wish I was different. Different gifting, different temperment, different anything.
Maybe I look at the ways I could have made different choices and would then be on a different and seemingly better path.
What is my focus?
Too much introspection can lead to too much self-focusing. Sometimes I just have to get out of my head. It’s good to remember our past and what we have come through. It’s important to remember what we have learned. Gratitude is born out of remembering with grace our journey.
But, we can’t afford to get stuck.
A couple years ago I realized all my conversations were about all the negative things going on in my world. It was my habit. I was good at rehashing the injustices and idiocy I was enduring. My friends were so gracious. They commiserated with me. Even though it had to be like nails on a chalkboard, they loved on me and listened—and endured it!
I finally got tired of hearing myself talk about it. It was getting old. And, I knew it was a problem when I couldn’t think of other things to talk about. It kind of felt like a loser sort of life!
It’s amazing when God starts nudging you in a new direction.
I’m guessing He was tired of hearing all about it too—over and over and over and over—if you get my drift.
I was missing out on all the goodness He was giving. I was missing out on all the beauty and grace He so lavishly supplied. He was fully aware of all the injustice and rejection and hurt. He got it. He saw it and knew how it hurt. The Beautiful One was trying to give me beauty for my ashes. But, it wasn’t going to happen if all I kept focusing on was the pitiful parts. I was going to miss it all. What a tragedy—and He knew it.
I had to quit wallowing around in the ashes!
He spoke to my heart. He opened my eyes to the reality of what I was becoming. It wasn’t the image I wanted. I purposed in my heart I was done reliving it all and talking about it. I was done dwelling on the negative and the pain.
Oh, I remember. I have the scars to show for it. But, I was done allowing it to become my focus and driving force. I was done talking about and rehashing every gory detail of every injustice. I determined that chapter was done. I was moving forward.
You know, it made all the difference in the world in my heart and life.
It wasn’t easy. I had to think of new topics of conversation. I had to live purposefully in the here and now. Yes, I remember. And, at times there is still pain in those scars. But, it doesn’t drive me any longer. I no longer look down and behind but look up and ahead. This new way of thinking and being set me on a new trajectory. It is so much more beautiful here!
Psalm 103 is really great right about now.
It’s too long to post here, but I encourage you to take a couple minutes to read it. It helps in the refocusing.
What do I choose to focus on? Where am I looking?
Am I remembering all of His blessings?
Do I remember that He has healed my family and me and has raised us from our ashes?
Do I recall that He has redeemed me—that He has wrapped me in goodness?
That He makes everything come out right and puts victims back on their feet?
Do I focus on His grace and mercy and keep in mind He doesn’t give us what we deserve, but gives us what we don’t deserve?
Do I relish in His fierce love and His total awareness of me?
How about remembering His love is eternal–forever and always?
It brings into proper perspective the flaws of this world. No scheme of man will ever take me from His hand. I am His. Why so downcast oh, dear soul? Look up to the hills from which comes your help!
Change your focus! It’s beautiful up here!