I believe that we can each agree that, at times, it becomes so easy to lose focus of what’s ahead of us and instead be more focused on what’s ahead of our neighbor. Can you recall the frustration and fury that sets in when our eyes are not fixed?
Have you ever driven down the highway and, for some reason or another, you lose focus and end up missing your exit? I have….and at that moment you become bothered and frustration begins to creep in. Have you noticed that if someone is in the car with you, you might even go as far as blaming them for being the distraction? For being the reason your attention was taken off of what is ahead of you? After all, the frustration that sets in needs to be directed toward someone, right? And then, to get back on track you may possibly have to go up an exit or so, make a U-turn, and it just takes that much longer to get to your destination. The same is so in life. How many U-turns have you had to make? How many times have you had to stop, regroup, rethink, and reconsider your route, simply because you were a little [or maybe a lot] off track of the path God set before you?
We are told to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). Understanding that we each have our own journeys…our own assignments…our own plans…..and it is up to each of us to pursue God, being directed to fulfill those plans.
I have noticed that when our eyes are so fixed on others, we are not able to transform into the person God intends for us to be. The process is interrupted because of distraction, often taking that much longer for Him to get us where He desires for us to be.
Sometimes IT TAKES “pulling over”…and that doesn’t mean you’re getting off your journey [you’re still on the path….you’re still headed to your destination]. Possibly, it just means that you’re reconsidering what went wrong and what can be done to make it right. A few changes does not, necessarily, mean you’re off track. It can simply mean you’re giving yourself a focus adjustment.
I would sometimes look at what everyone else was doing…and I do mean everyone. I would find myself watching the lives of other Christians, seeing what they were doing, only to tell myself, “Oh...if they can do that, then it must be ok for me to do it.”
Other times, I would look at what many in the world were doing and think, “Well, if everyone else is doing that, I don’t want to feel left out, so I should just jump on the sinking ship….everyone else is on it.”
And, of course, I would look at what other people had or the great things they were doing in their lives, and then I would find myself getting envious and wishing that I had or was doing those things.
No matter the scenario, it is still not healthy to be overly focused on other people because it gets us off course of what we ourselves are supposed to do. God has made each of us different and unique, so that means that our lives also will be different and unique. We can’t let emotions or peer pressure guide our actions….that is for God to do. Once you are able to get to the point of focusing on God and not people, I believe you can become at peace with yourself and with what God has for you. Psalms 4:25 states “Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose] and let your gaze be straight before you.” Just like a soldier in marching, we to need to focus only on what is ahead, not getting sidetracked or distracted by looking around.
There was a term that has been reintroduced to me: reckless abandonment.
Before now—it meant just what it meant: To do or say something without regards for the consequences. But now that I’m on a severe and sincere quest for God’s Unprecedented Love…it parallels exactly what I am presently doing: resisting and fleeting all else—disregarding ALL else--in order to cling to the Lord no matter what things may happen or what people may say.
I am RECKLESSLY ABANDONING all so I may live satisfied through Christ.
This type of focus is what I’ve been struggling with since the beginning of the year. Every time I wanted to take the plunge, it was lackluster. Colossians 2:9-10 (“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power”), says that there is NO completeness independent of Christ.
Many will attempt through their spouse, their courting partner, their job, their children, their marriage, and/or their friendships to find meaning or fulfillment or completeness…but soon after, they merely find another void unfilled…unfulfilled ( Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart).
“COMPLETION IS JESUS’ RESPONSIBILTY AND COMPLEMENTING IS A PERSON’S PRIVILEGE” (Jones and Kendall). The Lord desires for us to desire Him—draw near to Him (Psalm 73:28a), redirect our focus, and keep our focus solely on Him.
We will find, that in this, ALL else follows (Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you), and that we will live a life of complete joy.