As Beth had us flipping back and forth in our Bibles, exploring the theme, I realized that I had not done that for quite a while. We visited many verses throughout the day, and it felt good.
Toward the end, she said something I just had to write down in my notes: Maybe we don't know who we are because we've forgotten who He is.
"Bingo!" my heart cried. That's why I've been so restless and unsettled in recent months. (I suppose it could also be a six-hour move to a new city, but that's only part of it.) I've been listening to podcasts and reading books and watching YouTube videos, but I haven't been digging deep into the Bible on a regular basis. That's where my true guidance comes from. From God, through His word.
My brain has been jumping from one idea to another: Maybe I should become a full-time editor. No, maybe I should get busy writing those books I've been talking about. Should I write the book on anger? or the book on depression? I'm not angry or depressed anymore, maybe I need to pour my time into ministry at church. Oh, but faith is very important, I need to spend time growing spiritually!
And because I'm not focusing on any of those things, none of them get done.
As I looked for a verse about focus, I found this passage from Philippians 3:12-20 in The Message. Take a minute to read it and let it sink in (even better, go read the entire passage online, I left out bits and pieces here):
"I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But.... I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.
So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision-- you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it.
Stick with me, friends....There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them.....All they want is easy street. They hate Christ's Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street....all they can think of is their appetites.
But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven!"
(Philippians 3:12-20 The Message)
I think that's it. We need to keep focused on the goal, Jesus. It's not "easy street," but if we stay totally committed to Him I think the rest of life will fall into place more easily.
When our eyes (and our hearts) are darting around looking at every possibility and opportunity out there, we'll be confused, unfocused. But when we fix our eyes on Him (the author and perfecter of our faith) our path will become much more clear. We'll know which goals to focus on so that we get closer to Him and closer to the person He created us to be.
If I focus, maybe I'll even finish a book someday.
"Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you." (Proverbs 4:25 NIV)
Are you unfocused, looking around at way too many possibilities? How can focusing on God help you to see more clearly and know where to spend your time?