Thursday, December 8, 2011
Look, There's a Chicken!
We can often be a little ADD. I have some friends who joke about the “chickens” or “squirrels” that yank our focus out of a conversation. Our minds are so over stimulated, it’s hard to focus on just one thing for very long.
Yes, we joke about it, but losing our focus on Jesus can wreak havoc in our daily lives. In my devotional (Jesus Calling) this morning, I read, “I am with you in all that you do, even in the most menial task… However, your awareness of My Presence falters and flickers; as a result, your life experience feels fragmented. (to say the least!) When your focus is broad enough to include Me in your thoughts, you feel safe and complete. When your perception narrows so that problems or details fill your consciousness, you feel empty and incomplete.”
There are so many things in this life that divert our attention from Jesus and cause us to fear. And they are real, legitimate fears. I’ve been through the death of a child. I’ve watched both my parents die of cancer. I’ve witnessed my son as he struggles to stay clean and sober after years of a drug addiction so powerful that, at times, it seemed he would never be free. These are things I wish no one ever had to experience, but we all do. Whether it’s the struggle to keep a job, chronic pain, aging parents or depression, everyone has very real problems and issues that can so easily steal your joy, your faith, and your focus.
That’s why we need to make it our number one priority to know Jesus, to spend time in His presence, reading His Word and focusing on Him. Then when the fear, pain and darkness begins to engulf us, we can say, sometimes with teeth and fists clenched, “I trust You, Lord, I trust You.” Sometimes that’s all I can say. I can’t come up with any lofty words or pious prayers. It takes every ounce of energy and focus I have to look to Jesus and trust Him, rather than become consumed with the problems of life.
My devotional continues, “Though the world is unstable and in flux, you can experience continuity through your uninterrupted awareness of My Presence. Fix you gaze on what is unseen, even as the visible world parades before your eyes.”
So, as all the chickens and squirrels parade across my path, I will use every ounce of my being to maintain my focus on Jesus, to fix my gaze on what is unseen, to hold tightly to My Unswerving Hope.