Friday, October 31, 2014

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Enjoying the Process

Since I've been feeling better, I've been trying to get back to some activities that I enjoy so I keep feeling good. I've had this pile sitting in various places around the house for years:

This is a project that my grandma gave me a long time ago. She gave me the instruction book, fabric, needles, and every color of embroidery floss so I could create a beautiful counted cross stitch picture.

So I got it out last Sunday afternoon and this is what I found:
Quite a bit was done, but as I worked I realized that there were many, many, many tiny stitches left before the picture would be complete. The thought crossed my mind that maybe I should just cut it up and throw it away. I didn't know if it was worth my time just for a cute picture.

I kept stitching, but I pondered that unwelcome, destructive thought for a while. Here's what I realized: sometimes I approach life this way, too. I want to see that perfect, completed picture and know that my life turns out beautiful, but I dread the work it takes to get there. I want instant progress and answers, but life seldom works that way. Usually we have many hours, days, weeks, and years of seemingly thankless, painstaking work before we see the finished product.
With counted cross stitch, you don't do it because it is less expensive and easier than buying a finished picture. You do it because it can be relaxing and fun to see your tiny stitches add up until you finally see a picture taking shape. You enjoy the process and then you enjoy the final product.

I think that's something we can focus on this week. Let's all try to enjoy the process. Enjoy this life that God has given us. Stop wishing that the "picture" was complete and instead take delight in each criss and cross of the lives we lead. Sure, sometimes the thread will get tangled or we may have miscounted and have to rip out a little section and try again to get it right, but we can enjoy even those moments as we slow down and look at the big picture more closely.

I will keep plugging away at my counted cross stitch project, and I pray that all of us can keep plugging away at the lives we each lead. Enjoy the different colors that we get to work with and marvel at the different picture that God has designed for each of us.

We won't see those life pictures completed until we reach heaven someday, but here's a picture of what my project will look like when I finally get it done: 

I'm going to keep working on it, and I'm going to keep trying to enjoy every moment of this life I've been given. I don't have to just wish for the final results; I can enjoy the process each step of the way.

Do you get frustrated when you think there's too much work involved before you see the results you desire? Can you see how focusing on God can help you to really enjoy the process as you go through life?

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