Change your Focus
Writing is one of my passions in life. Much like exercise, I enjoy the feeling of having written something much more than the process of sitting down and hammering away at this keyboard trying to make sense of the thoughts in my head.
Over the past four weeks, I have worked to rebuild the habit of posting on my blog each week. I started by sharing my thoughts on the weekly sermon and how I was processing it practically.
What I have learned in the last couple of weeks is that I have a renewed, increased focus when I open my notepad to jot down notes from the sermon. I listen with more focus. I am more aware and sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me.
This week, I was reminded of a principle which I wrote in my notes…
What you focus on is what you produce…
You get more of what you look for!
This is a principle God first showed me years ago. Every now and then, God reminds me of it. There are Sundays when I wake up and it feels easy to receive from the Lord. Other Sundays, I am doing good just to be physically present. What amazes me is my tendency to think that the worship or message was at a higher level or quality, when in reality, I came with a better ability to receive.
I am not alone in this. We tend to comment on how the pastor really preached this time. The reality is that we really listened this time. We were more alert. We had increased focus. We were engaged emotionally.
The worship team might not have spent any extra time preparing this week. In reality, we just came into the house of God with a deeper desire to connect with Him through worship.
You get more of what you look for!
This is something that God has reminded me of over the past few weeks of working on this blog and sharing my thoughts with each of you. Just by bringing more focus on my end, I have received much more from the sermons than if I did not have that focus. Because I have made a promise to myself to post every Monday evening, I am more alert during the message, thinking of what I can share this week.
There is a story in the Old Testament that comes to mind every time I think of this principle. You can find the entire story in Genesis 30:25-43.
The main character of the story is Jacob, son of Isaac. Jacob had fled his hometown and now worked for his father-in-law, Laban, by caring for his flocks. Jacob longed to return home, but did not have the wealth needed to provide for his family. All the flocks he cared for actually belonged to Laban. The two agreed that Jacob would continue to care for Laban’s flocks and his payment would be all the speckled and spotted animals. Jacobs goal was to increase the number of lambs in the flock that was speckled and spotted. The problem was that Laban had removed all of the speckled and spotted from the flock and carried them to a field away from the others. There was a far less chance for the animals to produce speckled or spotted offspring without them to mate with. Instead of throwing in the towel and giving up on his desire to return to his homeland, Jacob took branches from trees and peeled off strips of the bark, making streaks on them and placed them in the watering troughs. The animals would mate at the watering troughs with the striped branches in front of them, producing striped and speckled offspring. Jacob removed the branches, the animals did not produce the speckled or striped offspring. Soon Jacobs flock increased with strong animals but Laban’s decreased.
What you focus on is what will be produced.
This principle is true, not just on Sundays at church, but in every aspect of life. This is true for my relationships. I get more of what I look for. If I choose to focus on all the wonderful things about Casey (there are too many to count), I will find them. If I choose to focus on the not-so-wonderful things about her (there are few), I will find them, every time! What I focus on is what I produce. Our marriage is stronger because Casey and I focus on the positive qualities we possess. When things don’t appear positive, we assume the best! We choose to believe the best!
This is true at the office! If I set out looking for the positive things at work, I will find it every time. Yet, if I set out looking for the negative things, you bet I will find them in abundance. You get what you look for!
This principle is true for everyone! Whether you admit it or not, you have more control over what you experience in life. We all have the ability to choose what we focus on each day! We have the power to change our focus and see real change in what we experience!
If you are not content with the quality of your marriage, change your focus. Instead of focusing on all the things your spouse might lack, focus on the things they do well! Start praising your husband on the things you appreciate about him. Stop nagging your wife about the things you dislike. Change your focus and you will be amazed at the difference in your relationship.
If you are not fulfilled at the office, change your focus. Stop dwelling on all the ways your gifts are not utilized there and remember that God is using you to make an impact on other individuals. You are not the center of the universe! Stop acting as if you are. Start believing that God placed you there to speak faith into the lives of those you work with. Change your focus! Instead of dreading the hours you spend there, give praise to God for the income generated for your family thru this job. Change your focus!
The change probably won’t be immediate, but more than likely will come slowly over time! Don’t give up if your circumstances don’t change overnight. Continue to direct your attention to what you desire and trust God to make it happen! You will be amazed at the change you experience when you learn to change your focus!