Focus

A father frets incessantly over the likelihood that his boss might give him the boot given the volatile swings in labor demand. He fixes a sober and gloomy gaze at the gentle, smooth, and soft faces of the daughters who mean the world to him and it further fans the flame of his worry. The parent leans over an ailing parent. Wrinkles etched into the forehead of the old frail woman who once upon a time was stunning in good looks, young and strong, of means enough to not only support a family but to shower her darlings with love and luxuries. The lover who once got on one knee and promised at the altar “till death do us part” now mourns uncontrollably at what were once mere words becoming a reality. Life is a voyage, and there come times where “in the midst of her seas, we are tossed about with waves, and the wind is CONTRARY.” ¬†Contrary to our expectations. Contrary even to what makes logical sense. That anguish we cry out summed up in the small but momentous question “Why?” never seems to receive an answer that suffices. In the passage above, Matthew presents the famous account of Jesus walking on the sea. Peter after being reassured that it was Jesus and not a spirit, exercises his little faith by coming out of the ship to meet Jesus. He takes a few hesitant steps on the water, amazed at his defying natural laws. But as the account goes, the winds grew boisterous and Peter grew fearful. In his fright his gaze shifted from his Savior to the winds, and he immediately began to sink. This short passage provides a great resource in dealing with the “storms of life”. Take note that Peter sank when he shifted his gaze from his Savior to the winds. Tony Robbins once told the story of a woman who had a terminal disease yet lived each day with such cheer that just by looking at her one could never get any inkling that her days were few. He asked what her secret was and she said “I don’t focus on my disease”. It is a fundamental truth that the way we feel is largely a function of what we focus on. If we find ourselves in life’s troughs, with no end to our problems in sight, we sink when we shift our focus from our Savior to our problems. Focus is a powerful tool that can cause a person who has everything to feel he lacks all and a person who lacks everything to feel he has all. A person can immediately begin to change the way they feel at any moment just by the simple tool of shifting focus. Focus is the lens by which we see our world and consequently feel about it. If all we see is problems then we will feel defeated. But if we see our Savior we will feel victorious, nay, light enough that it seems we are walking on water.

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